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Press comment: Queen's speech pensions and social care policies are found wanting


If you’re covering the Queen’s Speech please see the following comment on pensions and their social care policies from Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter:

Jon GreerOn pensions:

“The Queen’s Speech has delivered a long list of priorities this new Conservative government is going to focus on, with the NHS taking a prominent role just behind Brexit. With NHS funding set to be enshrined in law, there was one glaring omission that we are still awaiting more detail on. The Tory manifesto promised an urgent review of the annual allowance taper problem afflicting doctors and their pensions within the first 30 days of government. We are now 7 days in to this new government and no sooner to hearing what they have planned to address the issue that has crippled the health service and caused doctors’ tax bills to soar. It is no use giving the NHS extra funding if there aren’t enough doctors to treat patients.

“With the Christmas period now upon us, the government is going to have to move quickly to keep to this promise. They have a short-term solution to deal with tax bills that arise in this tax year but there needs to be a long-term solution, and the sooner it is sorted the quicker the NHS can begin to return to normal. This whole situation has shown that in practice the taper has unintended consequences and it isn’t an issue that is just affecting doctors. Our research has shown the rule has also caused a number of problems for judges and members of the armed forces. The sooner the government recognises it needs to overhaul this policy the better.

“We have also seen the return of the Pensions Bill that failed to make it through parliament before the recent general election was called. Hopefully it will now see its way through the relevant processes and make the introduction of pensions dashboards appear realistic. For too long Brexit has shoved pension policy to the side line, so now we have a government with a commanding majority we hope this is just the beginning of some long overdue legislation in this space.”

On social care

“Social care made yet another appearance in a Queen’s Speech and it is yet another reason that it all feels a bit like groundhog day. There were no concrete plans except to say, yet again, the government will look at the issue urgently. Promises are two a penny and we can only hope they actually deliver a long-awaited plan on social care reform that has some clear and deliverable policies.

“In the meantime they’ve promised to help unpaid carers that are propping up the social care economy. Responding to a recent recommendation from Carers UK they have offered unpaid carers one week of leave. This is a welcome gift to carers, but it is not a remedy for the fact that two-thirds of people have cared for an elderly, ill or disabled relative and one of the reasons for this is because of an ineffective social care system. Many unpaid carers have had to sacrifice their careers and financial wellbeing to support their loved ones because it is a full time job. So while a welcome short term gift it is no replacement for the larger issues around social care and the role of unpaid carers.”

For more information contact

Kathleen Gallagher023 8072 629307990
Gregor Davidson020 7002 716407917

Notes to Editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £110.4 billion in customer investments (as at 31 December 2019).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial advice business, Quilter Financial Planning; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

Wealth Platforms includes Old Mutual Wealth UK platform and Quilter International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore.

The Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business was acquired by ReAssure Group Plc on 2 January 2020.

Since its IPO in June 2018, Quilter plc’s businesses have progressively rebranded to Quilter, as follows: 

  • Quilter Financial Planning (previously Intrinsic)
  • Quilter Private Client Advisers (previously Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers)
  • Quilter Financial Advisers (previously Charles Derby Group)
  • Quilter Financial Adviser School
  • Quilter Cheviot
  • Quilter Investors
  • Old Mutual Wealth (becoming Quilter Wealth Solutions in 2020)
  • Quilter International (previously Old Mutual International)

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