Altmann 'disappointed' over pension providers' freedoms u-turn

Pensions Minister Ros Altmann has expressed her "disappointment" with pension companies failing to offer the new freedom and choice flexibilities following an announcement made by Friends Life yesterday.

Friends Life has confirmed it will not be offering its customers the option to withdraw cash from their pension pots, as was initially planned. It has since written letters to customers, announcing they will be taking a u-turn on their decision.

According to the Telegraph, Altmann said the failure to offer the new freedoms is a “disappointing” case of “failing to move with the times”

Altmann said in a statement it is disappointing that one of the biggest pension companies had come to the decision to cancel its plans and to block customers from accessing money from their pension pots as and when they like over the age of 55.

"I find it disappointing that even the larger pension companies are not allowing their customers to take advantage of the new freedoms that the Government has introduced for them,” the minister said.

"The [pensions] industry has had over a year to prepare for the changes – and it is encouraging that some firms have risen to the challenge. But others seem to be failing to move with the times and are still acting as if nothing has changed."

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