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Altmann gets backing for early access pension plan

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Altmann gets backing for early access pension plan

Pensions expert Ros Altmann has been backed by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) on her proposal to separate employer and employee pension contributions.

At the Liberal Democrat annual conference, independent pensions expert Altmann (pictured) said separating pension contributions and allowing employees to withdraw their pension contributions before retirement would encourage take up.

Altmann said: 'The problem with pensions is that they're a locked box.

'People worry they will never see it again. But I wonder if the government would consider a different product where the employee pays 4% and they get 4% from the employer and tax relief. Only the 4% from the employee would be accessible.'

Adam Marshall of the BCC said the proposal appealed to both the benefits of early access and would safeguard employers contributions.

'That proposal is an important half way house to consider,' said Marshall.

He said employers would not accept anything that allowed people to spend the money given to them as pension.

'My concern is with younger employees who use their savings to pay their student loan and to pay into their ISA for a holiday.'

Pensions minister Steve Webb said proposals floated earlier this year to allow early access to pension savings had been put on hold but not completely disregarded.

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