Government calls for evidence on early access to pension savings

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban MP has called for evidence on whether early access to pensions savings could encourage people to make higher pension contributions.

The government wants to receive evidence on the potential benefits and risks of allowing early access to pension savings and how it could be offered. It also wants to establish to what extent a reform would be welcomed by pension schemes, providers and savers.

Hoban said: “The government is committed to encouraging saving and wants to give individuals the maximum flexibility and responsibility to save for retirement. Early access is an idea we are keen to consider, and so today we ask pension schemes, providers and individuals to offer their evidence on the possible merits of any reform in this area.”

HM Treasury also stated that early access to retirement savings would be a further step in giving additional flexibility to people over their savings, following the publication of draft legislation and summary of responses on removing the requirement to annuitise by age 75.

The response period is now open and closes on 25 February 2011. The government will make a decision on whether to develop more detailed proposals once it has considered the evidence.

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