Osborne’s crackdown on rip-off pension charges begins

British Chancellor George Osborne

British Chancellor George Osborne
British Chancellor George Osborne

Media reports indicate that George Osborne has buckled down under pressure over rip-off pension fees and he has vowed to probe the soaring charges…reports Asian Lite

Tory Ministers are facing a huge embarssment as they mention an u-turn over a flagship  pensions overhaul. Earlier this April, new freedoms supposed to allow over-55s to access their cash pots without penalties came into force . Sixty-thousand retired moneybags have blown £1billion of their nest-eggs since the rule change, including £250million on dream motors and exotic breaks in the sun, says a Mirror report. Another £250million has been lavished on properties like holiday homes and buy-to-let pads, as well as home improvements such as swanky conservatories and hot tubs, according to investment group Hargreaves Lansdown.

But when the Government launched the new system it refused to cap “rip-off” costs for taking money out of pots. The move is back under the microscope over fears pensions firms are unfairly profiting from savers. The Chancellor George Osborne  admitted that there were “clearly concerns” that some companies were not doing enough to make the new deals available. The Chancellor has ordered the financial services watchdog to gather feedback from the industry and savers, and report back over the summer. He told MPs: “We are investigating how to remove barriers and we are considering now a cap on charges.”

The Treasury launches a consultation next month.

A Financial Conduct Authority spokesman told the Mirror , “It is in the interest of all consumers that the retirement market works well following the pension reforms.

“We are already monitoring how firms have been implementing the changes and will be gathering further data in the next few weeks.

“The Treasury has asked us to report by August and we will work with the industry to achieve this deadline.”