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Clause 9 - Retirement income funds

Part of Rights of Savers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 14th December 2005.

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Photo of Malcolm Rifkind Malcolm Rifkind Conservative, Kensington and Chelsea 3:30 pm, 14th December 2005

The Minister has put me at a disadvantage. I must confess that I am not familiar with the views of Professor Milevsky, and the Minister did not think to give me advance notice that that learned professor’s views would be almost the only argument that the Government could advance against the clause. The Minister has argued that some people might at a very elderly age run out of necessary funds. He is correct, of course, but that applies under the existing arrangements in the sense that even with an annuity, people might find themselves dependent on benefits because the annuity is very small. As the Minister knows, the vast majority of people will increasingly have several sources of income in their retirement. They will have some element of the state pension and an occupational or other pension, so they will not be entirely dependent on the retirement income fund in order to meet the minimum income guarantee.

My final point is that the fund is only an option available to people. No one will be required to go into a retirement income fund. If they wish to have an annuity, they will have the same rights as they do currently to continue doing so. On that basis, I commend the clause to the Committee.