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[Image: Telegraph.]

[Image: Telegraph.]

The Coalition government is proposing a new change to pensions, making it possible for you to access the money in your pension pot at any time, paying tax on only a quarter of what you take out.

As someone with a string of workplace pensions dangling behind him, Yr Obdt Srvt tends to think this is a good idea – if it means that money can be removed from those places and put into a single scheme where it will be worth more.

No doubt the devil will be in the detail.

It seems George Osborne told the BBC: “From next year [people will] be able to access as much or as little of their defined contribution pension as they want and pass on their hard-earned pensions to their families tax free. For some people an annuity will be the right choice whereas others might want to take their whole tax-free lump sum and convert the rest to drawdown.” What?

“We’ve extended the choices even further by offering people the option of taking a number of smaller lump sums, instead of one single big lump sum.”

The BBC report quoted “pensions expert” Ros Altmann (who?) as follows: “People need to know that their pension provider will allow them to take advantage of the new freedoms. Currently, most pension companies are not ensuring that their customers can take money out flexibly. I call on the industry to make sure that people can really benefit from the new pension changes as quickly as possible.”

Let’s have a poll. This seems like a more complex issue than some, so please feel free not only to answer the question but also to comment on what this may mean. Here’s the question:

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