Opperman exploring possibility of using pensions for house deposits ‘disappointing’

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman's, suggestion that he is open to exploring ways for pensions to be used for house deposits has been described as “disappointing” by The People’s Pension (TPP).

Speaking during a webinar hosted by Prospect Magazine, Opperman suggested that he was open to considering ways in which people could borrow from their auto-enrolment pension savings to help fund a deposit on a house.

However, he caveated that the suggestion to use pensions for house deposits was not government policy and was not being considered by government officials.

The suggestion had been met with some criticism, with TPP director of policy, Phil Brown, labelling it as “disappointing".

“It’s disappointing to see that the government has not completely closed the door on a policy which would further inflate the bubble in the housing market, deplete young people’s retirement savings and transfer that money to older people selling property,” he stated.

"Pensions are about providing much-needed retirement income for workers, with international evidence suggesting that pension pots are never adequately replenished once they have been accessed early.”

Brown noted that roughly 1.5 per cent of assets are cashed out from pension pots annually in the USA, reducing savings on retirement by a quarter.

“The only answer to getting more people onto the property ladder is to provide much more affordable housing,” he concluded.

This story was originally published by our sister title, Pensions Age.

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