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Royal London calls for independent pensions commission

Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual insurer, has called for a new independent commission to improve and set the direction of policy on pensions, retirement income, and later life financial provision. The insurer would also like the commission to concentrate not only on pensions and retirement but on all the issues facing the crowing elderly population in the UK today.

Costs of care are increasing due to numbers of elderly people living longer and in poorer health, therefore more strain is being put on retirement incomes. Even though more people are now adding to their pensions due to auto-enrolment, the demands on income in retirement are also increasing.

Phil Loney, Royal London Group CEO, said;
“At present, policy around retirement planning is becoming too short-term and “political”. There is nothing to stop a future Government from reversing some of the recent policy decisions on which we are building. This kind of uncertainty can only act as a disincentive for people to save for the future. That is why we are calling for a Commission to look at all aspects of later-life financial provision, and to provide a basis for a lasting political consensus.

“The only way we can resolve issues such as advice and long-term care is to consider them away from day to day politics. These issues are long term and many of the required solutions may be considered politically unpopular.”

A report by Age UK has shown that more than one million pensioners are living in poverty in the UK due to low incomes, higher prices and pensioners not taking advantage of benefits they are entitled too. Age UK is now calling on the Government to provide a national training programme for health professionals and local authority staff to help older people who might be eligible to claim benefits, such as Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance to help make the most of their income.

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