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Webb wants to extend freedoms

Retirees may get right to swap pensions for cash

Steve WebbPensioners currently taking income from annuities may be able to sell them in exchange for a cash lump sum.

The UK government, which is already introducing changes to pensions rules, is considering further plans to extend the range of options.

Anyone over 55 will get new freedoms over their savings pot from April. Now the Pensions minister Steve Webb (pictured) wants to bring more people into the biggest shake-up in the system for a generation.

He tells the Sunday Telegraph that the government is now looking to extend these benefits to those already claiming a pension .

“I want to see if we can get these freedoms extended to those who are receiving an annuity but who might prefer a cash lump sum,” Webb tells the paper. “I want to see people trusted with their own money wherever possible.”

Insurance companies are said to be enthusiastic about the prospect of being able to offer cash to buy back annuities.

Low global interest rates mean annuities offer lower incomes than in the past, making them unpopular with many of the 400,000 people who are coming up to retirement each year.

 

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