Ruffley Announces Victory for Suffolk's Pensioners

Tuesday, 18 March, 2003

Conservative victory on Annuities Bill despite Labour's attempts to block it

David Ruffley MP and his Conservative colleagues have achieved a major victory for Suffolk's pensioners by moving forward a new law for the reform of annuities. The proposed Bill debated before the House of Commons on 7 March would reform rules on annuities so that pensioners are no longer forced to cash in their pension fund for an annuity at age 75. Commenting David Ruffley said:

'At our Party Conference in October, we pledged to reform the rules surrounding annuities so that pensioners are no longer forced to purchase an annuity at age 75. Our overwhelming victory at this stage of the Bill is proof that we're making strides toward that commitment, despite Labour's attempts to block it.

'In fact, Labour's policies have helped to fuel the pensions crisis. Labour's £5 billion a year tax on pensions has led to the closure of thousands of pensions schemes, with many people finding they will retire with much less than they were expecting.

'There are already 9,157 households in Mid Suffolk District Council area with pensioners, 9,848 households in St Edmundsbury Borough Council area with pensioners and this figure will rise in the future. Ending the obligation to buy an annuity by the age of 75 means that the pensions savings of Mid Suffolk and St Edmundsbury's pensioners will go further in helping them achieve a secure retirement. Our progress on annuities demonstrates how I will continue to stand up for pensioners in my constituency.'