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Govt must protect retirees from ‘rip off’ drawdown charges – Labour

Jenna Towler
Written By:
Jenna Towler

Labour has urged the government to ensure none of the 320,000 savers expected to take advantage of pension freedoms are exposed to “rip off charges”.

The opposition said hundreds of thousands of people are expected to look for annuity replacement products from April next year, exposing them to potentially high charges.

From April next year people aged over 55 will be able to access their pension pots as and when they wish. Many will opt for drawdown contracts, seeing part of their pot remain invested.

Labour said the government had not factored the risks associated with income drawdown into its plans. It suggested a charge cap may be necessary to prevent investors losing out.

Shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont said: “Labour welcomed the new pension flexibilities announced in the Budget, but we are concerned that the government has not thought through the risks of rip-off charges being taken from the savings of hardworking people.”

The BBC reports Labour fears income drawdown contracts could see savers pay out almost 30 per cent of the value of a £30,000 pension pot in fees, if existing structures on drawdown products were applied.

The Financial Conduct Authority is due to publish new guidelines for companies selling pension-related financial products soon, the report added.