According our latest Tackling the Savings Gap research, Labour has taken a slender lead in an opinion poll of pension savers, despite a largely positive response to the Government’s recent pension reforms.
Our independent research puts Labour marginally ahead of the Conservatives among savers, with UKIP in third and the Liberal Democrats fourth.
But the poll also showed that the Conservative-led reforms of the pensions market, which came into play on April 6, are proving a major vote-winner for the Tories.
Of the over 2,000 surveyed across the UK, 28% said they intend to vote for Labour in the general election.
The Conservatives were marginally behind with 27%, compared to UKIP (17%), the Liberal Democrats (7%), the Green Party (5%) and the SNP (4%).
But among people approaching retirement, the Tories came out on top, with 32% of over 55s intending to vote Conservative, compared to 23% for Labour.
Just over 15% of those polled said they had changed the way they would vote as a result of new pension freedoms driven by Chancellor George Osborne. Of those, 81% said they were now more likely to vote Conservative.
New pension freedoms introduced on April 6 mean restrictions on the amount of money that can be withdrawn from a pension fund and the level of income savers have access to, have been lifted.
Pension savers aged 55 and over can now take their whole fund in one go, take smaller lump sums when required or take up to 25% tax-free and a regular taxable income from the rest.
While such changes appear to be having an impact on voter sentiment, our poll also reveals a worrying trend for all parties in relation to their financial policies.
Despite the election being just a few weeks away, almost a third (31%) of savers polled said they still don’t understand the financial policies of any of the main parties.
Our Managing Partner David Harrison said: “Savers have been particularly hard-hit over the last six years with low interest rates. Heading into this general election, the Conservatives have put pensioners and savers at the heart of their election strategy with pension freedoms, tax-free interest on savings and higher ISA allowances.
“The recent pension reforms have clearly been well received by most savers, but our report also suggests there remains a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace. It also highlights that, beyond the headline debates around immigration, education and healthcare, retirement funding – and policies related to it – is an important issue for voters.”
If you’d like to find out more about how the new pension freedoms affect you, speak with your financial adviser. If you do not have an adviser, you can search our directory for your local Wealth Management Partner.
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