Pensions guru Ros Altmann appointed Pensions Minister

Ros Altmann

Pensions expert Dr Ros Altmann, a columnist at our sister magazine Money Observer, has been appointed pensions minister in the newly elected Conservative government.

Following the Tory win last week, prime minister David Cameron announced Altmann will take over from the position vacated by Steve Webb.

Previously, we reported that Altmann was tipped to become a Tory peer if the party won the election.

Reaction has been mostly positive if somewhat surprised, although some say it will be a challenge to live up to the legacy left by Webb.

Alan Morahan, head of DC consulting at Punter Southall, says Altmann will have "a hard act to follow".

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"We can rarely, if ever, have seen a more active pensions minister than Steve Webb and whilst some of his initiatives have yet to be proven as effective, he cannot be criticised for the energy he brought to the role," he says.

"Ros Altmann now has the task of ensuring that the new pension freedoms deliver, and do not turn into the next pension nightmare as a result of mis-selling and misunderstanding."

Adrian Walker, retirement planning expert at Old Mutual Wealth, adds: "Steve Webb built a sound reputation for engaging with both consumers and the pensions industry. Having stayed in the job for the full term of the parliament, he was able to successfully steer a number of important policy changes through the House of Commons.

"Similarly, we hope the new government will recognise the benefit of continuity and avoid the ministerial merry-go-round we have seen in this role in the past."

Nick Ayton, managing director at GenLife, says: "It would be a real shame if Webb's vision for re-shaping how people save for later life is lost and pensions become nothing more than a political football, with lots of chopping and changing of policies to entice voters.

"Ros will have her work cut out to ensure the pensions revolution that Steve Webb began does not hit the buffers and that consumers are protected from high charges from legacy providers."

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer

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