Responding to the measures on savings and annuities in today’s Budget, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:
“The Budget has brought good news for struggling savers and pensioners who have been let down in the past.
“The tax break and new flexibilities on savings will prove popular with the millions who have got a raw deal on their savings in recent years. But there are still many savers whose money is languishing in extremely poor paying accounts so the financial industry must now play fair and help people get a better return.
“People who feel trapped by a poor value annuity will welcome the chance to take advantage of the new pension freedoms. But pensioners have been failed miserably in the past so the Government must keep a firm grip to ensure people aren’t ripped off again.
“We want to see strong regulation of sales practices and for anyone considering selling an annuity to have access to guidance through Pension Wise, especially given the high tax bill they could face. The Government should also consider whether consumers should have to take regulated advice, and whether using an existing savings and investment provider, like NS&I, could deliver security for people uncertain about the wider market.”
On ultrafast broadband being delivered to rural areas:
“Faster broadband speeds in remote areas is welcome news for consumers but millions of people are continuing to pay for advertised speeds that they may never get. Action needs to be taken by the advertising watchdogs to pull the plug on confusing adverts and ensure broadband providers show the speeds the majority of customers will actually get.”