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Hargreaves Lansdown: Pension changes will take time to catch on

17 May 2006
Having 'simplified' pensions rules as part of the A-Day changes brought in on April 6th this year, it seems more people than ever are confused by what they can and cannot do.

Tim McPhail, the head of pensions at independent financial advice firm Hargreaves Lansdown, says this is not indicative of the new system but more the fact that people will take time to understand its implications.

"These are not minor changes," he said, "so it is not surprising people will take time to get used to them."

One of the most emphatic changes was the high earning threshold of pension schemes in the UK and Mr McPhail said that the new limitation, where a static upper limit of total pension contributions has now been set, is one of the more sweeping.

"The only group for whom radical change was urgently needed was the high-earners and now it is done with the £1.5 million limit," he continued, adding that changes for less well-off savers would be "a simpler environment".

New legislation inevitably brings confusion to begin with, Mr McPhail concluded, but in the end he claimed that A-Day would make pensions a far easier area to understand for future generations.

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