In 2006, the then Labour government introduced “pension simplification”. The idea was to sweep away a myriad of confusing and conflicting legislation which had rendered navigating one’s way through the rules somewhat of a voyage of discovery, explains Andy White.
Even then, we had primary protection and enhanced protection to contend with, but those seemed to be sensible measures designed to benefit the individual so we accepted them.
Then we had the proposals to restrict tax relief for higher rate taxpayers. And then anti-forestalling. Followed by fixed protection. And auto-enrolment. And flexible drawdown.
So at a time when the government should be encouraging people to invest in pensions to mitigate the huge drain on the state caused by increased life expectancy, what is it doing? Overlaying complexity upon complexity making pension provision a most unattractive proposition.
And worst of all...