The major pension changes announced in the 2014 Budget are surely a win for older people looking for flexibility, independence, choice and control in the way they plan for their future. Rather than perceiving the changes as a vote for middle England, they do have the potential to shape the way we approach later life.
We don’t underestimate the education needed to help people plan for retirement, but surely giving people the freedom to decide what to do with their income should be seen as an opportunity to discuss and plan their future?
Instead of seeing retirees frittering away their savings, these changes could provide an answer to the question every political party is avoiding – whether people need to sell their family home to pay for care. Being able to access their pension early on gives retirees more opportunity to invest in suitable properties for their future, rather than reacting when crisis hits.
Just like we do things with older people rather than to them, the pension reform respects the fact we are all adults and makes a welcome change to the standard positioning of all older people as either vulnerable or a burden on society.
Sara McKee, Evermore Founder and Director of Market Innovation
Follow Sara @SaraMcKeeFRSA