James Moore: Some welcome brakes applied to George Osborne's pension freedom


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The Independent Online

Outlook Are you one of the rapidly diminishing band of people with a “defined benefit” (DB) company pension that guarantees you a percentage of your final salary when you retire? Fancy transferring out of it so you can take advantage of the Chancellor’s pension freedom reforms and take a big lump of cash instead? Well you’re out of luck. The Financial Conduct Authority, fearing a mass of “irrational transfers” out of DB schemes, has decided that it will let you take such a step only if you receive regulated financial advice.

That advice will almost certainly be to stay put – unless you can find a financial adviser who wants out of the industry in a hurry or who has no knowledge of the sorry history of the “pension mis-selling” scandal.

If that looks suspiciously like a ban to you, that’s because it is. Pension freedom is not quite as free as it first seemed. But that’s probably no bad thing.