Chief economist Andy Haldane says pensions are too complicated and property is better due to continuously rising prices
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Property is a better investment for retirement than a pension, according to the Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane.
Haldane owns two homes – one in Surrey and a holiday home on the Kent coast. His basic salary at the Bank is £182,000 and he is in line for a pension of more than £80,000 a year when he retires.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Haldane said he did not consider himself wealthy. “I see myself as not having to worry about money, but plainly not wealthy. I never have [felt wealthy] , and never expect to in this job.”
He does not have a credit card – “I’ve never seen the need for it,” he told the paper. “My spending is all on debit cards.”
Haldane believes that property is a better bet for retirement planning than a pension. “It ought to be pension but it’s almost certainly property,” he said.
A man in a shirt and tie, sitting in a large room with antique furniture
“As long as we continue not to build anything like as many houses in this country as we need to … we will see what we’ve had for the better part of a generation, which is house prices relentlessly heading north.”
Ros Altmann, the former pensions minister, said his comments were “divorced from reality” and it was “irresponsible” to suggest people should rely on property rather than pensions.
This is not the first time Haldane has raised eyebrows with his comments on pensions. In a speech in May, he admitted that he was unable to understand pensions because the system was so complicated.
“I consider myself moderately financially literate – yet I confess to not being able to make the remotest sense of pensions,” he said. “Conversations with countless experts and independent financial advisers have confirmed for me only one thing – that they have no clue either.”
He said ordinary workers had no chance of making informed decisions for their retirement funds and called for the system to be simplified.
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