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The Difference Between The Best And Worst Pension Incomes Can Be Very Surprising

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Changes to RPI inflation could hit pension pots

Changes to the calculation of the retail prices index (RPI) could lead to a drop in pensioners' incomes, according to leading pension expects.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has already begun a consultation on changes to RPI calculation, which would mean that the RPI would move more slowly and in step with the consumer prices index (CPI).

Darren Philp of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has warned that any alterations to the RPI would have "huge implications" for pension pots.

"Pension funds are major investors in government debt and changes to index-linked bonds could have far-reaching impacts on those investments," he said.

"It could also alter the amount by which pensions being paid to former workers are increased each year."

As well as impacting private sector pensions, RPI changes would also affect the value of index linked bonds, inflation linked savings certificates and government issued gilts.

RPI normally rises at a faster rate than CPI, with an average gap of 1.2 percentage points each year since CPI was first used in 1996.

The changes to RPI would mean that it would rise at a slower rate that is more in line with CPI inflation, with the effect that future increases in private sector pensions could be depressed.

In addition, the returns on the £18bn worth of inflation-linked policies which have been sold by National Savings and Investment, and the return on index-linked bonds sold by the government to professional investors could also be slashed.

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