Annuities reform the theme of the week in weekend Money sections
Investment stories may have dominated the weekend money sections for the last few weeks but this week saw pensions and more specifically annuities muscle in and push investment coverage down from over a third (34 per cent) of all coverage last week to just a fifth (20 per cent) this weekend.
Last week the government announced it was scrapping a controversial annuity rule meaning investors will no longer have to buy an annuity when they hit 75. This was big news for the industry and it is therefore unsurprising that pensions saw its tally jump from 12 per cent to 20 per cent this weekend.
Much of the coverage was positive on this announcement, with Stephen Womack in the Mail on Sunday saying how it will give savers more flexibility and Ian Cowie (@iancowie) in the Sunday Telegraph weighing up savers’ options now that they are no longer forced into buying an annuity. Alice Ross in the FT also looked at the change in the controversial plan and included a word of warning that the new rules may not be welcome to investors currently in income drawdown.
The Independent, while admitting the rule change will mean more flexibility for some, highlighted the fact that only the wealthy will truly benefit from this – a sentiment that was mirrored in the Sunday Express. Paul Farrow’s comment in the Sunday Telegraph went a step further and debated how annuities could have been a blessing in disguise.
Some of the money sections used the government’s announcement to look at the pensions industry more generally. The Sunday Times used their own research to show that savers could lose half their personal pensions in charges due to excessive fees on specialist funds. In the Independent on Sunday, Julian Knight (@ukmoneyguru) and Maryrose Fison did their own investigation into fees and how savers can lose thousands of pounds in charges.
Pensions news aside, it was a mixed bag in the money sections, with a couple of warnings on the importance of home insurance from the FT and the Independent. Elsewhere, in the Sunday Express Esther Shaw (@EstherShaw79) recommended giving your children a financial present in the form of a savings account as this will prove far more valuable in the long-term. A great idea in theory but something your children may not fully appreciate gift-wrapped under the tree.
And the rest of the scores this week are: