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AND YOUR DATE WITH DEATH IS... Ministers slammed for 'crass' pensions move.

Byline: TOM MCTAGUE Political Correspondent

MANY of the Government's hated policies are enough to scare people to death - now ministers are preparing to dish out another shock.

The Coalition said yesterday that when people reach retirement age they will be told how much longer they can expect to live.

It came as figures revealed that men live 10 years longer in parts of South East England than in Glasgow.

Labour MP Grahame Morris slammed the Government's death date plan as "crass".

The calculation will be based on factors such as smoking, diet and wealth.

Pensions minister Steve Webb, who said in March that people should be free to blow their pension savings on a Lamborghini if they wanted, made the announcement yesterday, warning that most people would end up living much longer than they think.

He said: "For best guidance you probably think about how long your grandparents lived. But that's two generations out of date."

Mr Morris said: "Older people need financial security in retirement. But once again we have a minister making a crass remark.

CRUDE "I suspect Steve Webb has now realised that the state ultimately will have to pick up the tab if retired people don't budget prudently and end up blowing their retirement funds on luxury items."

Neil Duncan-Jordan of the National Pensioners Convention said: "I think people will either laugh at this idea or be very upset by it. It's crude, blunt and a bit gimmicky.

"If you were told you were going to live to 98, you'd probably think, 'That's all right', but if you only made it to 78, you'd be upset."

In the Budget, George Osborne revealed that when people retire they will no longer have to buy an annuity, which gives them an annual income until death.

Opponents said the death date plans, which will form part of guidance set to be rolled out next April, have been made because the annuity shake-up has left ministers worrying about pensioners blowing their savings.

The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics yesterday, showed that in 2010-12 life expectancy across the UK was 78.9 for men and 82.7 for women.

tom.mctague@mirror.co.uk VOICE OF THE MIRROR: PAGE 8

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 17, 2014
Words:377
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