OK, it's time once more for the latest instalment of Retirement Radio, the pension sensation that's sweeping the nation. Well, maybe not the nation, but we get loads of listeners to our monthly web broadcasts on Citywire and even downloads from our very own Retirement Radio page on the Apple iTunes Store, so we're pretty excited about that.
This month's three-way discussion on pensions is between me, Stephen Ballard and Michael Johnson of the Centre for Policy Studies (the CPS, no less).
The following extract from the Citywire website describes the programme well and saves me the embarrassment of writing nice things about myself:
George Osborne's budget took many ideas from the brain of economist Michael Johnson, this month's guest on Retirement Radio. But pensions guru Steve Bee has some questions.
The Centre for Policy Studies, the think tank co-founded by Margaret Thatcher, recently published a paper on pensions reform by Michael Johnson, a research fellow at the Centre.
Johnson argues the country can save £8.5 billion a year by changing the rules around pensions tax treatment – in particular by slashing tax relief for higher rate taxpayers.
Parts of the research were echoed in Osborne's June budget, and many of Johnson's proposals – such as eliminating the distinction between pension and ISA saving – are actively being discussed in the corridors of power.
But Steve Bee, Citywire columnist and the brains behind pensionsguru.info, has reservations about trusting a future Chancellor not to renege on deals made today between government and citizen - particularly giving up tax relief on contributions now in exchange for a better deal later.
As Bee puts it, the main feature of our pensions system appears to be that it is subject to 'constant change'.
So that's it, the stage is set; all you need to do now is brew up a cup of tea, pop a couple of biscuits on a plate and settle down for a half an hour's worth of Retirement Radio and the perfect afternoon will be well underway. To make things even easier for you while the kettle's boiling you can get to this month's programme by clicking on the cute button right here on our Sound&Vision page on the JargonFreePensions site; surely one of the marvels of our modern age.
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