Savings accounts for over 50s at risk from Equality Bill

11 May 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
The future of savings accounts for the over 50s could soon be outlawed by the Government's new Equality Bill, the Building Societies Association (BSA) has warned.

According to the BSA, 'silver saver' accounts – many of which are provided by building societies – should be exempt from the forthcoming legislation, due for its second reading today, because they recognise the needs of older savers.

In fact, the BSA argues that as interest rates remain at historically low levels and pensioners find their savings incomes reduced, now would be the "worst possible time to put these types of accounts in jeopardy."

Specialist over 50s savings accounts, like those offered by Saga savings accounts, recognise that older people may have different savings needs that focus on things like simplicity, regularity of payment, and reliability.

Commenting, Adrian Coles, director general of the BSA, said: "It concerns us that this legislation could result in the loss of an account that meets the important social need of older savers.

"Whilst we support efforts to outlaw unjustifiable age discrimination, we believe these accounts – like children's accounts – have a legitimate role to play."

Speaking of the recent Budget announcement for over 50s, he added: "The Government themselves acknowledged in the recent Budget, by increasing the ISA limit for those over 50 ahead of the rest of the population, that older savers have suffered, so it would seem at odds with their policy to outlaw this product."

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