A book that no one can write?
The BeeLine I wrote last Thursday (Tangled up in Rules) leads me to the title of this one from another of Bob’s songs (Where Are You Tonight? ‘Street Legal’ 1978 (as you ask); great album). It came up in many of your many responses. Not the song or album, but the fact that it’s not going to be easy to write a simple book about pension simplification.
I have to say we were pretty surprised by the response we received from you to that BeeLine. Like our e-mail inbox was buzzing all through the day and the days after too. Because of that I will be writing to the government people saying we have the support of so many advisers in asking for clarity as far as the post A-Day pension rules go. When that’s sent off we’ll put a copy on the BeeHive so you can see what we’re saying on your behalf.
In the meantime I’d like to publish here a few anonymous comments made by respondents which are sort of typical of the things many of you said in your e-mails. We can’t print them all, although I’d like to, it just wouldn’t be practical as we had so many. But you may recognise the sentiments expressed here in these few extracts if not the exact words:
- I think a straightforward, non-technical-speak, explanation of how the changes at A-day affect everyone, and the who and the why of Alternatively Secured Income, taxation and tax free cash, is a splendid idea. Do you think the government have any people who both know the rules AND know how to write clear, understandable English?
- We are all starting to look like fools when we are unclear in our responses to client questions. "you should be able to invest that sum, but we need to check with your inspector of taxes to be sure" or "currently it is believed that an ASP is the right choice for you, but the Government may change this at any time soon"
- Yes, please ask the government people to produce a simple guide book. The four advisers in this firm would very much appreciate a copy each.
- A Government booklet giving definitive explanations of what you can and can’t do with pensions would be more than welcome. Good luck in getting one!
And so on really. Let’s see where we can take it…
31 August 2006
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