Monday sees the biggest shake up to pensions law in the UK since, well pretty much since pensions were invented. Instead of now guaranteeing you an extra income for life once you retire from work, you can now cash it all in and buy a boat.
But it's our money cry all the people who will be cashing in their pots and expecting that the value of their fund will be the same as the value of the cheque going to drop through the door a week after they sign the paperwork. They will then be amazed that it is not only taxed, but also reduced quite dramatically with other costs and charges. And that will just be the legal and honest companies.
Already, in fact for months, I have been receiving SMS and emails like this, as soon as the PPI ones started to dry up these pensions ones appeared.
Even with a freephone number, this looks almost as legit as you could, and that is the point. Even if you are not with Aviva there is a small temptation to call to question where they got the number, after all the call is free.
And rest assured, I am sure they will be able to offer all callers, with Aviva or not, something pension related which in essence means you will have a lot less money thatn you would have otherwise.
On the news yesterday there was a report of how in Australia, where this change was made 20 years ago, there are now generations of pensioners with no money, not because of scams directly, just because they have spent it all.
The issues with this entire concept are huge, and if you think the billions the banks have paid out in PPI seemed like lot of money, wait about 15 to 20 years when this one gets big. In absolute simple terms once you have spent all the money you will have to rely on the state, so instead of cutting costs this is just building a massive debt with no way of ever recovering it for the state.
Add into this the illegal and immoral companies that will actually be scamming people, and then the legitimate and within the law firms selling people a pile of cash for far more than it looks, and all I can say is that the lawyers must already be counting their bonuses that will come from the back of this.
It actually beggars belief that Labour agree with this policy, which is purely there just to entice "older" voters to vote Conservative, and get people who make poor financial decisions to just get the government to bail them out. Since the Equitable Life policy holders decided that although they had received rates that were impossible to maintain for decades, as soon as they were dropped they wanted laws changed and the state to cover the differences, I have been unable to understand why this becomes the states responsibility.
Like banks being too big to fail, it is really just a money making machine for the select few - any one, be it a government or a cold caller offering you money for nothing should be avoided at all costs.
Anyway, I look forward to my pensions being raided as I retire to pay for this mess.