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Ex-Partnership chief: I was in the dark about pension freedoms

Former Partnership chief executive Steve Groves has criticised the pension freedoms and revealed that - unlike other annuity companies - he did not receive any prior warning of what was in the 2014 Budget.

In an exclusive video interview with New Model Adviser®, Groves revealed he received no prior warning of the Budget's content, instead learning of the policy 'on the hoof' while in front of investors.

He also criticised the pension freedoms, stating that the policy was 'ideological' and that opening up the retirement market was equivalent to taking away the fence at a polar bear enclosure.

Describing the policy of pension freedoms, he added that auto-enrolment meant that people were protected from making simple decisions, while the freedom and choice initiative resulted in consumer vulnerability.

'What we're doing is protecting people from having to make simple decisions and then leaving them suddenly to make very compex ones,' he said.

'At the time I got a lot of grief with people saying "well how can freedom and choice be a bad thing?"'

'I guess the answer is you could take the fences away from the polar bear enclosure at the zoo and let people wander in, because that would be free.'

'Some choices are dangerous and to really exercise freedom you have to have the knowledge to understand the decisions you're making. I worry that quite a lot of people are making those decisions without that knowledge at the moment.'

You can watch the full interview above. See more from our pension freedoms series here.

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