The pensions industry has been up in arms over a new government savings leaflet. Published by the Treasury on its website, the leaflet, called 'Ways to Save in 2017' sets out how the government is "supporting people to save at every stage in their life, from parents saving for a child’s future to saving for later life" . The leaflet sets out the following savings options:
- Child Trust Fund and Junior ISA
- The Help To Buy ISA
- The Lifetime ISA
- Premium Bonds
- Stocks and Shares ISA
- Cash ISA
It does not list pensions as being a way to save. The Treasury has come out defending the leaflet and said that it was designed to make more people in the UK aware of the policy changes that will come into effect later in 2017. A spokesman said:
"It is our job to raise awareness of the savings products the public can access in the year ahead. It goes without saying that the government supports pensions — that's why we introduced auto enrolment, which is already benefiting over 7 million people, and our landmark pension freedoms."
The pensions industry has reacted furiously as has the former pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann who has previously warned that the government seem to be favouring the Lifetime ISA over pensions. "This is further evidence of the concerns I have expressed before about Treasury attitudes to pensions. It suggests that our private pension system is under existential threat" she said.
The CBI, the Confederation of British History has also expressed its concern at the leaflet. A spokesperson said:
"The concern for us is that for the vast majority of working people, the single best, and most rewarding, way to save tax efficiently for retirement is through their employer-provided pension. Therefore, as an important savings route, pensions need to be included in the communications that come from government."