UnNews:Distrustful Brits bank their pensions

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Distrustful Brits bank their pensions

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26 August 2016

PensionersMoney

A couple count an hours cost of future negative interest rates

LANCASTER, England -- Millions of UK citizens are withdrawing their state pension early and storing them in soon to be negative-interest bank accounts, fearing the Conservative Party may use the money to fund a new campaign to keep Britain in the EU.

Since the government allowed anyone to withdraw their state pension at the age of 55, millions have begun storing theirs in low-interest bank accounts, favouring the security, competency and transparency of the big banks over the UK government.

Maureen Whitlock, 59, has been withdrawing her pension since 2015: “Well, they said I could start withdrawing it, so I did. I don’t trust this government with my pension anymore. I just think storing it in a bank account will stop the greedy Tories getting their hands on it, even if it costs me money to do so. There can't be Tories in the banks, can there?”

Despite losing many tax perks, capital gains, and monetary protections by transferring their pensions into the hands of the banks, the trend appears to be strengthening — even though public opinion of the banking system is at an all-time low. Over a third of the 59 million UK citizens 55 or above have joined the movement, moving £23 trillion.

Moreover, think tank ‘Codger Watch’ recently published a study that 95% of those who withdrew their pensions early also voted for Brexit. Gerard Como, CEO of Codger Watch, said: “Yes, the majority of people who voted to leave the EU also withdrew and banked their pensions. It seems they’ve lost complete faith in the government's ability to protect pensions and have sided with the banks. The fear and paranoia of what the government will do with their money could be linked to the problems on the continent.

The study asked respondents for their specific reason for moving their pensions. Common answers were the devaluation of the euro and the EU's negative-interest-rate policy. No one mentioned the devaluation of sterling, and imminent negative-interest-rate policy in the UK, made inevitable by moving all that money.

Not all believe there is a connection between leaving the EU and the over 55s banking their pensions. Some have a more personal take on events.

BBC Columnist Johnny Winters said: “Basically, it just boils down to one thing: Older people are thick. They didn’t go to school, they didn’t learn, and now they just fumble through life, making bad decision after bad decision. Plus, they’re obsessed with the concept that everything was better in the past. If that’s true, then why have they put their toilets inside the house? Maybe they enjoyed the World War II, rations, and really poor football?”

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