April 18, 2015 / 1:25 AM / 4 years ago

Cameron lines up pensions expert as minister

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and Ros Altmann (C) at a garden centre cafe in Birmingham, England, April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Peter Macdiarmid/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron said on Saturday that he would appoint a well-known pensions expert, Ros Altmann, as a financial services minister if he returns to power after next month’s election.

Altmann, 59, frequently comments in British media on pensions and has worked as an advisor to Cameron’s government and that of Tony Blair. She is also a former director-general of Saga Group (SAGAG.L), which provides insurance and travel services to over-50s.

Pension reform has been a major policy for Cameron’s government, which has removed some of the restrictions on how older people can cash in their personal pension savings. Critics of the plan have warned that some pensioners may take decisions that leave their long-term finances at risk.

Cameron said Altmann would be responsible for financial consumer protection and financial education.

“We want to create a real savings culture in our country for everybody,” he said.

One of Altmann’s first roles would be to look at issues such as capping charges on private pensions and improving financial education for younger Britons as well as older people’s ability to take out mortgages.

Altmann would be made a Conservative member of Britain’s upper house of parliament in order to take up the role.

Reporting by David Milliken in London and Randall Palmer in Washington; edited by William Schomberg

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