Savers should be able to use their nest eggs to buy a home, according to pensions minister Richard Harrington.
The MP (pictured), who was promoted to the role in July as part of Theresa May's reshuffle, said property was often used to save for the future and pensions should therefore be a way of funding home purchases.
The minister made the comments to New Model Adviser at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham on 3 October, although he added making this possible would be a long-term ambition.
"For most people there are two steps in their life [house purchase and retirement] and I think it is legitimate that the government should help with both," he told New Model Adviser.
"Property is also saving for your future in a way and I would say the arbitrary distinction between the two, while necessary at the moment, ideally really long-term, it would seem to me a logical move to move to the stage of bolting on a long-term non-retirement savings product in the same pot. One big savings product."
The MP added such a policy could be rolled into auto-enrolment (AE), although not before a "huge amount" has been achieved.
The proposal has been met by much derision by pension professionals on Twitter.
Dalriada trustee representative Mike Crowe said: "Let people buy a house with retirement savings, says pensions minister. Don't tell me he failed #pensions 101?"
Meanwhile, Trade Union Congress pensions policy officer Tim Sharp said: "This does not seem especially wise."
Aegon pensions director Steven Cameron said: "Retirement [versus] house purchase need [very] different investments."
Harrington also commented that the lifetime ISA (LISA), which will allow savers to put aside up to £4,000 per year - with a 25% top-up from the government - for retirement or buying a first home, should not be over-complicated.
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