Massive Job for New Pensions Minister

In a surprise move the Tories have decided against putting a career politician into the job of Pensions Minister.

Instead they’ve handed the responsibility to campaigner Ros Altmann. I hope this is a good move. She has a good track record championing the underdog and hopefully will continue it in government.

She has a massive job on her hands with the new pension freedoms introduced last month and further extensions planned, including the right of annuity holders to cash in their policy.

There’s also the ongoing auto-enrolment process, under which every firm in the country should by 2018 have started a pension pot for employees.

On top of that there’s the radical changes to the state pension that will leave many of us having to wait until we’re much older than 65 to be able to claim.


For lighter reading: :  With less than a week to go before the new ‘pension freedoms’ take effect, a Government body is today announcing a new tool to help explain the changes.

A Pensions-Related Information Lexicon is the latest publication from the Financial Office Of Language, a quango that brings together experts from the world of business communications to help explain pensions to normal people.

Here are some highlights from the first draft of the lexicon.

Absolut return
Strategy that aims to give the same return regardless of how much vodka your investment manager has drunk

Income for life that’s less than you’d hoped

Pet who inherits your money

Type of loan that leaves you shaken but not stirred

Commutable pension
An income for people within the M25

Crystallised funds
Money you’ve spent on Breaking Bad DVDs

Responsibility for a bad investment decision

Scheme member who’s been stripped of their protection

To use retirement savings to buy a stately home

Usually a good thing. But check with your doctor, just in case

From April 6, something that is neither advice nor available

Lump sum
An amount approximately equal to the value of a sugar cube

To refuse to think about what you’re going to live on when you stop work

Pension pot
Drug taken to stop worrying about retirement

Pension Whys
Pension questions that your ‘guidance specialist’ isn’t allowed to answer

Relating to inability to work due to exhaustion

Steakholder pension
Bovine retirement plan

Cause of pain on the path to retirement

Tactical investment
Buying a tank with your money

Trivial commutation
A board game for people who can’t afford to do anything more interesting

Winding up
The experience of listening to politicians with final salary pensions talk about how we all have to save for retirement