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New pension freedoms for retired people suggested


The pensions minister Steve Webb has announced that he would like to extend the pension freedoms announced in the Budget to existing pensioners, meaning retired people would be given the right to sell their pensions or annuities.

The plans, which are being drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions, would allow pensioners, if they wanted, to sell the annuities they had been required to buy under the old rules to the highest bidder. The seller can then spend their lump sum on whatever they liked, or could use it alongside other pensions they have accumulated.

The changes have not yet been agreed by Mr Webbs Conservative coalition colleagues, but if agreed, the proposals would not be implemented by April when the changes affecting working people, announced in Chancellor George Osborne's 2014 budget, come into force.

Mr Webb said:
"To be honest, I would hope that all parties will say that people who have worked hard and built up a pension pot should be given the freedom to do what they want with it, rather than have the government tell them how to spend their own money.”

In April, new pension freedoms for working people, announced in the 2014 Budget, will be implemented, meaning people reaching retirement age will no longer have to buy a guaranteed annual income, in the form of an annuity.

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