Annuities


New second hand annuity market is good news new!
16 March 2015
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The Yorkshire Post supported Ros’s views that proposals to set up a second hand market for annuities will be good news for many pensioners – giving them an option they have not had before


Why unlocking annuities would be a great idea
12 March 2015
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Ros explains why she is in favour of allowing people the option to cash in their annuities, although of course there are risks if the value is poor


BBC Radio4 Moneybox debate on cashing in annuities
10 January 2015
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Ros was interviewed on BBC Radio4 Moneybox discussing the pros and cons of enabling people to cash in or surrender their annuities if they wish to. You can listen to the debate here https://businesschampionforolderworkers.blog.gov.uk


Cashing in annuities – how could it work?
5 Jan 2015
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Ros comments on Steve Webb’s suggestion that annuity customers may be allowed to cash in their annuities


£8.5bn of mis-sold annuities in the past 10 years?
29 November 2014
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Ros calculated some estimates of the value of unsuitable annuities that may have been bought in the past 10 years. There is scant data to use, but the estimates suggest at least £8.5bn worth of inappropriate annuities may have been bought


New Model Adviser - Can MAS and FCA finally protect customers?
1 October 2014
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New Model Adviser reports on remarks made by Ros at a Fringe Meeting at the Tory Party Conference in which she suggests that the Money Advice Service has not served the public well on annuity information and calling on the FCA to protect customers properly.


Q&A - implications of abolishing 55% inherited pensions tax
30 September 2014
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Ros gives further thoughts on the implications of the decision to allow pensions to pass on tax free to future generations and answers some of the most common questions she was asked.


Yorkshire Post - Osborne helps increase all our pension pots
29 September 2014
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Yorkshire Post Comment article on how the abolition of the 55% inherited pensions tax has the potential to increase everyone's pensions.


Annuity sales plummet and drawdown soars after Budget
11 September 2014
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Ros comments on the latest figures from the Association of British Insurers showing the impact of the budget on annuity sales and income drawdown.


Citywire - Altmann challenges FCA over annuity mis-selling
4 August 2014
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Citywire highlights that Ros has challenged the financial services regulator to explain its failure to require annuity firms to ask about customers' health before selling them a standard annuity that assumes they have at least average life expectancy.


Altmann challenges FCA over annuity sales practices
4 August 2014
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StockMarketWire explains Ros' call for the FCA to explain how it can justify permitting annuity firms to sell standard annuities to customers who are terminally ill, without even asking about their health.


Money Marketing Live debate - why annuities needed to change
16 May 2014
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Ros took part in a Money Marketing Live Webcast debate on the Budget 2014 pension reforms and the changes to the annuity market that will result


What Next for Annuities?
12 May 2014
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Ros explains why new annuity products are needed and the background to why Partnership needed to offer a new annuity product, which provides an enhanced annuity with a one year surrender option


One year annuities - suit providers not customers
8 May 2014
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Ros responds to the Treasury Select Committee report on the Budget pension changes, supporting calls for the FCA to be vigilant about providers acting in the customer interest and points out the shortcomings of the new one-year annuity products.


Council taxpayers could save £660m in local authority pension reforms
2 May 2014
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The DCLG is proposing reforms to the way local authority pension schemes invest which could save council taxpayers £660m a year - or more than 10% of the cost of council staff pension contributions, by pooling assets into Common Investment Funds to benefit from economies of scale and cut investment charges


Pensions Revolution - The flexible future
24 April 2014
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Ros gave the keynote address at the Pension Pioneers Forum in London and explained her views about the new pensions landscape, with its implications for accumulation, decumulation, providers and trustees.


Ros' evidence to Treasury Select Committee highlighted in The Herald
2 April 2014
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The Herald, Scotland, highlights Ros' evidence to the Treasury Select Committee inquiry into the Budget pension changes where she expresses her belief that it is difficult to imagine average annuity rates worsening as a result of the change to compulsory annuitisation


Times Thunderer : At last we will trust people with their own money
20 March 2014
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The Times published a Comment piece from Ros welcoming the new Budget measures that will allow people to choose what to do with their pensions.


Express - Osborne boosts savers and pensioners
20 March 2014
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The Daily Express carried a Comment piece from Ros welcoming the new freedoms for savers and pensioners.


Altmann welcomes pensions and savings revolution
19 March 2014
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Ros' thoughts on the Budget we highlighted by StockMarket Wire.


FT Comment - UK Budget 2014: A watershed moment for pensions and savings
19 March 2014
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Ros explains why the 2014 Budget measures are so significant for pensions and savings and will be both popular with the public and also bring in extra revenue for the Chancellor.


ABI promises to improve annuity selling - too slow!
10 March 2014
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Ros discusses the latest release from the Association of British Insurers which outlines ways in which it proposes to improve its practices for selling annuities. She believes the media pressure has had an impact but the measures being promised are inadequate and being introduced too slowly anyway.


FCA Annuities Review - confirms market failure
14 February 2014
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Ros reacts to the release of the findings of the FCA's Thematic Review of annuities which confirms market failure but fails to implement swift reform


Looking forward to FCA Annuities review findings
12 February 2014
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Ros previews the FCAs forthcoming Annuities review findings and calls for urgent action to address the evidence failings


CityAM - Worrying annuity market failings still not being addressed
14 February 2014
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Ros wrote an article for CityAM expresses concerns that the FCA review shows the failings of the annuity market but is still not addressing them


Annuities are not fit for purpose for many
2 February 2014
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Ros explains why she spoke out against selling annuities to customers without any suitability checks and explains why annuities are no longer fit for purpose.


Why annuities may not be fit for purpose
2 February 2014
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Description: Ros summarises the arguments about why annuities may not be fit for purpose for many of those who buy them


A briefing on Annuities
January 2014
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Ros prepared a background briefing on the failings of the annuities market and urgent reforms required


House of Lords - Are Annuities Fit for Purpose?
30 January 2014
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Ros spoke on a panel at an ILC Seminar in the House of Lords addressing the question 'Are Annuities Fit for Purpose' and she explains why, without asking questions of customers, those selling annuities can have no idea whether the products are suitable for them or not


Powerpoint presentation - 'Are Annuities Fit for Purpose'
30 January 2014
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Description: Here are Ros' powerpoint slides presented at the ILC_UK Panel Debate on annuities in the House of Lords and sponsored by Legal and General. Ros explains that we have no idea whether annuities re fit for those buying them becasue sellers are not obliged to carry out any know your customer or suitability checks to find out.


Are Annuities Fit for Purpose - House of Lords ILC debate
30 January 2014
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Description: Ros spoke at an ILC_UK Panel Debate sponsored by Legal and General on the subject 'Are annuities fir for purpose?'. This is a transcript of her remarks and her slides.


An alternative Pick-A directory just for IFAs
14 January 2014
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Description: Ros puts together alternative wording for a separate directory that would list only those independent advisers who offer whole of market regulated advice for those who want to try to get the best possible personal help at retirement


Pick-A - Another look
14 January 2014
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Description: Ros issues further thoughts on the Pick-A Directory, complimenting its functionality but suggesting that it would be helpful to have a separate listing for truly independent advisers, so people can see who is offering guidance, rather than regulated advice


Why is Pick-A directory biased against advice?
12 January 2014
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Description: Ros comments on the initial wording of the newly launched Directory called 'Pick-A Retirement Income' which is supposed to help people find an adviser or broker to help them choose the best retirement income for themselves and highlights her concerns about wording that seems unfairly biased against independent advice.


Glasgow Herald - Annuities Market in Need of Regulation
4 January 2014
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Ros gave an interview to the Glasgow Herald explaining her concerns about the annuities market and calling for proper regulation to protect customers


Financial Services Consumer Panel slams annuities - excessive profits, poor value?
12 December 2013
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Ros welcomes the Financial Consumer Panel's damning report on the annuity market and echoes its calls for proper regulatory and a full inquiry into the value for money for consumers offered by annuities


Response to DWP charges consultation
28 November 2013
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Ros submitted a response to the DWP consultation on pension fund charges


Pension charges need to take account of annuity costs, not just AMC
28 November 2013
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Ros explains why she believes that driving down charges too far could dumb down pensions and that controls on annuity charges and value for money is far more important than whether AMCs are 0.5% or 0.75%.


Obsession with pension charges is the wrong focus
28 November 2013
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Ros' views on pension charge caps were written up by Stock Market Wire and explain why Ros believes the obsession with driving down AMCs may have gone too far.


Annuity providers pocket £1bn from husbands' pensions as widows left penniless
18 November 2013
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Ros explains how the annuity market is failing millions of potential widows, whose husbands do not understand the implications of buying a single life annuity


Ros' views on annuities at Westminster Forum Panel discussion
5 November 2013
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This is a transcript of Ros' contribution to the Westminster Forum Panel Session on Annuities at which she gave her views on how the market is not working for the customer.


MetLife Report - Pensions: Time for change
31 October 2013
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Ros wrote a major report sponsored by MetLife Insurance which highlights what has gone wrong with UK Defined Contribution pensions and how they need to change to fit 21st century realities. Niether the accumulation nor decumulation products are fit for modern lifestyles.


The Independent: People should be handed risk warnings before buying annuities
15 October 2013
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Simon Read of the Independent supports Ros' calls for people to be given proper risk warnings before they buy annuities since they can lose all their money.


Why people should consider drawdown before buying an annuity
7 October 2013
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Ros wrote a Foreword for the 'WhatInvestment Guide to Income Drawdown', explaining the risks of annuity buying and why Income Drawdown should be considered by many


Annuity angst and drawdown dilemmas - is more reform needed
October 2013
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Ros was interviewed on Citywire iplayer and explains (from 3 minutes in) how the annuity market is failing many customers


Inflexible Income Drawdown rules deny savers their own money
30 September 2013
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Ros points out that women could in theory now get 50% more pension than this time last year, but inflexible rules mean they can't access more money yet


Telegraph - Ban high charges for annuity broking
17 September 2013
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The Daily Telegraph published Ros' views that annuity purchasers should receive advice, rather than paying high fees to brokers who offer no regulatory protection and no advice


Why everyone needs advice at retirement
14 September 2013
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Ros was interviewed by InvestmentSense magazine 'In the Spotlight' section. She explains her thinking that advice is essential for anyone considering buying an annuity


Yahoo - 'Loose Change' - Annuity dangers
September 2013
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Ros was interviewed for the Yahoo website's 'Loose Change' slot and explains some of the issues surrounding annuities


Single life annuities put your spouse at risk
14 August 2013
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Pensioncalculator.org explains Ros' concerns about people buying single life annuities and then leaving widows or widowers with nothing, especially if they die relatively young. This is particularly a problem for current retirees as women in their 50s and 60s have been very disadvantaged by the pensions system and are less likely to have their own provision.


Nobody knows if annuities are good value, but companies make huge profits
13 August 2013
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Ros highlighted the problems facing annuity customers who cannot find out whether their annuity is good value or not, because firms refuse to publish the necessary information. Meanwhile, they can take in £100m free money from people's pension pots each year for doing nothing.


Daily Mail front page - Annuities the biggest gamble of your life
13 August 2013
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Ros' warnings about annuities being the biggest gamble many people will ever take were featured as the front page Splash in the Daily Mail.


The Sun - Annuities a huge gamble
13 August 2013
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The Sun featured Ros' warnings about annuities being a big gamble.


Annuity buyers need more protection and risk warnings
12 August 2013
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Stock Market Wire featured Ros' views on the risks of annuity buying in an article on their website.


Annuities are a big gamble - income may be safe, your capital isn't
12 August 2013
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Ros explains that annuities should not be considered as 'safe' long-term investments, because the capital is at risk. Nobody issues risk warnings to investors and she calls on regulators and trustees to do more to ensure customers are protected better.


Widows at risk in annuity market
2 August 2013
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Pensions World publishes Ros' views of the risks to widows and widowers in current annuity markets, with reform focussing on getting the best rate, rather than buying the right product.


250,000 widows a year at risk from annuity market
2 August 2013
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Ros calculates that the failure of couples to buy joint life annuities may result in 250,000 widows or widowers each year at risk of being left with nothing when their partner dies.


Wealth at Work presentation - Retirement income options
25 May 2013
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Video recording of Ros' presentation at Wealth at Work's Seminar, giving the consumer perspective on Retirement Income Options for 21st Century.


Consumer perspectives on Retirement Income Options
23 April 2013
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Ros spoke at a Wealth at Work seminar about Retirement Income Options and how consumers need help in assessing what is most suitable for them.


Ros on Moneybox about Annuities
2 February 2013
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Ros was on Radio4 Moneybox explaining some concerns about whether the FSA's latest thematic review of annuity sales will go far enough to really protect customers properly.


FSA Thematic Annuities Review must look at more than just OMO
31 January 2013
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Ros explains why the FSA review of annuities is welcome but must look at more than just shopping around for a better rate, it is vital that customers get the right kind of annuity too.


Pensioners using income drawdown should be trusted with their own money
3 November 2012
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Ros wrote an article for the Mail on Sunday warning that the new rules for Income Drawdown have resulted in another pension scandal, with pensioners being deprived of their own money just because annuity rates - which they never wanted to be involved in - have fallen.


FSA finally gets more real on investment return forecasts
2 November 2012
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Ros comments on the FSA's recommendations that investment return forecasts for pensions should be lowered to become more realistic - better late than never!


Policy punishes drawdown holders, lowers tax revenue, penalizes the unwell
10 September 2012
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Press Release explaining the need to revise income drawdown rules to make them fairer, especially after latest sharp falls, and allow older people in poorer health to take out more of their own money.


Drawdown policy changes penalize the less healthy and less wealthy
8 September 2012
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Press Release explaining how both fiscal and monetary policy have damaged income drawdown pensions and the unfairness for those in ill health in particular.


How can you relieve impact of QE on your pension
31 August 2012
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Telegraph published Ros' comments on how to try and relieve the impact of QE on your retirement income.


Solvency II could destroy UK pensions
19 June 2012
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Ros wrote a blog for the Daily Mail RightMinds website, explaining the dangers of the new EU rules called Solvency II, which could devastate UK defined benefit pensions and annuities


EU rules set to make UK pensioners poorer
15 March 2012
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Press Release criticizing EU rules on SolvencyII and gender-neutral insurance rules, which will make UK pensioners poorer via lower annuity rates, as well as undermining defined benefit pension schemes


100 year gilts not attractive, but longevity gilts could be great
15 March 2012
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The Government's suggestion of issuing 100 year gilts would not be attractive to pension funds, but would be great for taxpayers. However issuing longevity gilts would be far better


YouTube video - QE has reduced pensions by 20%
1 March 2012
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Ros explains why QE has taken money from people's pensions and given it to borrowers and banks, leaving pensioners poorer in retirement


QE is silently stealing older people's assets
20 February 2012
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Ros wrote a blog for the Daily Mail's 'RightMinds' blog website, explaining in detail how QE is damaging our pension system and is not a sensible strategy for trying to boost growth.


The Oldie - Annuities theft
February 2012
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Ros wrote an article for the Oldie Magazine explaining how QE is robbing pensioners of their future income by devaluing annuities.


Observer - Osborne ignores pensioners at his peril
3 March 2011
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Article published in the Daily Express criticizing the latest EEU ruling banning gender discrimination in insurance products and warning that this will make annuity prices worse for most people in the UK. It seems to be political correctness gone mad.


Age 75 Annuity proposals - the good, the bad and the ugly
11 December 2010
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Ros outlines her views on the Government's proposals to abolish the requirement to annuitise pension savings by age 75.


Abolishing age 75 Annuity Requirement unfair
12 September 2010
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Press Release explaining that the Government's current proposals for abolishing the age 75 annuity requirement amount to a transfer of wealth to the very wealthiest pension savers from those lower down the income scale.


Response to Treasury Consultation on abolishing Age 75 Annuity rule
9 September 2010
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Ros' formal written response to HM Treasury's consultation on abolishing the requirement to buy an annuity by age 75, explaining that the proposals will represent a tax increase from 35% to 55% on pension savings for those outside the very wealthiest groups. The 55% tax is particularly unfair for basic rate taxpayers and should be re-thought.


Ending age 75 compulsory annuitisation - a great start
14 May 2010
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Ros' blog on Citywire calling for far-reaching annuities reform, welcoming the pledge to end compusory annutiisation by age 75.


Ros calls for Annuity Reform
7 May 2010
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Ros is quoted by 'Right Annuity' calling for better regulation of annuity sales and more access to enhanced annuities.


Annuities Inquiry for FSA Consumer Panel
April 2010
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Paper sent to FSA Consumer Panel, suggesting a programme of research to identify consumer detriment and explore possible solutions in the annuity markets.


FSA drawdown fears ignore annuity risks
16 March 2010
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Ros' comments following the FSAs report on Financial Risk, highlighting that the FSA seems to believe annuities are a 'no risk' product, whereas, in reality, they entail significant risks for purchasers who do not understand what they are buying. Click here to read the article on the Citywire website.


NESTs ignore annuities - but pension outcomes are vital
11 January 2010
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Ros wrote a blog for Citywire explaining the dangers for individuals auto-enrolled into NESTs. When they come to retire, nobody has thought through the annuity risks they face. Click here to read the article on the Citywire website.


Planning for Retirement – You're on your own
May 2009
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Ros was commissioned to write an independent report on the problems facing individuals who are trying to plan for their retirement. She covers the history of our pension system, the risks of relying too heavily on the stock market to deliver good pensions and discusses some of the misconceptions of pension planning. Do you know the difference between a pension fund and a pension? Do you know what options are available on retirement? Can you afford to gamble your future security? All these questions are touched on in the report. Copies of the report are available at www.metlife.com/rp


Is lifestyling fit for purpose for people's pensions?
December 2008
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Corporate Adviser asked for Ros' comments on whether lifestyling products are suitable for pension investors who do not have an adviser.


CII Thinkpiece on personal accounts and annuities advice
May 2008
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Article published by Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) giving Ros' views on why generic advice for personal accounts will not work, but it could be very helpful for annuities.


Saga website – Introduction to annuities
August 2007
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Article written for Saga website, explaining the basics of annuities and factors to think about before buying.


Saga website – different types of annuity you can buy
18th April 2007
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Article for Saga website explaining the different types of annuities available.


Feature article on annuities for Corporate Adviser magazine
November 2006
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Article published in Corporate Adviser magazine, discussing some of the shortcomings of the current annuity market and how ineffective the open market option is in practice.


Pensions Management article on trustees and annuity reform
April 2005
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Article published in Pensions Management outlining problems of annuity purchase and urgent reforms required to make open market option work better. Also warning trustees of defined contribution schemes to take care to ensure appropriate annuities are purchased for members.


Why winding-up schemes should not buy bulk annuities
December 2004
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Note prepared for DWP explaining why assets of occupational schemes in wind-up should not be used to buy annuities, but should be pooled, as will be the case for the PPF, to minimise costs of assistance and maximise potential pensions for victims.


Cost of Annuities
February 2003
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Figures showing how much it might cost to buy an annuity of £10,000 per year.


The Future of Annuities
November 2002
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Powerpoint presentation outlining future issues for annuities presented at Journal of Pension Economics Panel Session, November 2002.


Possible Taxation Implications Of Lifetime Capital Protection For Annuities
May 2002
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Discussion of taxation implications of money back guarantees for annuities.


The Open Market Option
April 2002
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Discussion of points relevant to Open Market Option for annuities.


Annuity Reform Proposals
April 2002
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This article appeared in ‘Financial Adviser’ in April 2002, discussing Dr. Altmann's proposals for reform of annuities – to try to ensure that those with moderate or smaller capital sums still are able to obtain good value from their annuity.


Response to ‘Modernising Annuities’ Consultation Document
March 2002
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This is the response which Dr. Altmann submitted to the Inland Revenue’s ‘Modernising Annuities’ consultation in March 2002.


'Money Back Guarantees' for Annuities
March 2002
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Comparative Rates
February 2002
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Illustration of differential in annuity rates in the market place.


Fairer Pensions for All
November 2001
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Note describing problems and possible solutions to problems of annuity market.


Modernising Annuities - What can we do?
March 2001
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Discussion of proposals to ensure everyone who buys an annuity can get the right annuity at the right rate.


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