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May 12, 2009

“Silver Saver” accounts under threat from Equality Bill

by Gill Montia

Story link: “Silver Saver” accounts under threat from Equality Bill

The Building Societies Association (BSA) is warning that the Government’s new Equality Bill could have an impact on savings accounts aimed specifically at the over 50s.

The Bill is due for its second reading in the House of Commons this week and the BSA has called on the Government to ensure that so called “silver saver” accounts are exempt from the new legislation.

The Association defends accounts designed for older savers and pensioners, saying “older people have saving needs and requirements that often focus on simplicity, reliability, regularity of payment, and supplementing other - often fixed - sources of income.”

It also points out that this group of savers have already been hit by historically low savings rates and suggest “this is the worst possible time to put these types of accounts in jeopardy”.

BSA director general, Adrian Coles, says: “Whilst we support efforts to outlaw unjustifiable age discrimination, we believe these accounts - like children’s accounts - have a legitimate role to play.”

He adds: “The Government themselves acknowledged in the recent Budget, by increasing the ISA limit for those over 50 ahead of the rest of the population, that older savers have suffered, so it would seem at odds with their policy to outlaw this product.”

Whatever the outcome for older savers, the Equality Bill aims to put an end to age discrimination across the financial sectors; for example, government figures show that one in five older people are currently refused quotes for motor or travel insurance, or car hire.

 

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