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Michael Johnson letter in The Times

    CPS research fellow Michael Johnson wrote to The Times newspaper on pensions and the budget, Friday 11 March 2016. 

    "Sir, The pensions industry has persuaded the chancellor to drop the “pension ISA” for now (report, Mar 7). But what is it, exactly? Unfortunately its lack of definition has allowed industry lobbyists to sow confusion. Consequently, they have succeeded in discouraging the chancellor from reforming today’s regressive tax relief. Primarily harvested by the wealthy (who save anyway), it is an ineffective use of scarce Treasury resources.

    To progress, we need to separate the incentives debate from the accompanying savings vehicle. Once that is resolved, we can then integrate them into, ideally, a “lifetime ISA”. First proposed in 2014, this combines ready access with an upfront incentive, repayable on pre-retirement withdrawals. Post-retirement, the incentive is kept, withdrawals being tax-free. It would thus be an ISA and a pension pot in a single savings vehicle, to serve from cradle to grave, with the saver, not the industry, in control.

    Simplicity to the fore. No wonder the industry does not like it."

    See the letter at The Times website

    Date added: Friday 11th March 2016