5 million pensioners still ‘languishing’ without freedom access

A pensions campaign group has urged the government to re-look at its options for granting pension freedoms to over five million pre-2015 retirees.

The Your Choice, Your Pension campaign filed its budget submission to HM Treasury, arguing that millions of British pensioners are still unable to sell poorly performing annuities while the government “continues to drag its feet on reforms”.

Three years ago, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne said that the five million deserved “should have the same freedoms that they have given everybody else”, however a year later the government u-turned.

A campaign spokesperson said: “This is a towering injustice, over 5 million people are still waiting for the government to right this wrong, as it said it would in 2015.”

The government said that it could not guarantee consumers would get value for money from selling their annuity, and plans for a now solution in the 2016 autumn budget were shelved.

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for work and pensions, Stephen Lloyd MP, said: “It is vital that the government relook at this. The principle of pension freedoms is the right one, but not if millions are unable to take advantage of it.

"We must work towards the next logical step, which is to ensure pre-2015 retirees are able to flexibly access their retirement savings. The Chancellor now has the opportunity to correct this.”

A campaign spokesperson added: “It has been encouraging to see the response of MPs to the campaign already, but the government needs to take action soon. We have set out in clear teams to the Chancellor that he must look at what the options are for extending Pension Freedoms to pre-2015 retirees."

Since 2015, over £9.2bn has been cashed in from pension pots.

Let week, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced that the Autumn Budget will take place on Monday 29 October.

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