UK - Simplification Report author Alan Pickering is urging ministers to scrap the Pensions Bill which, he says, is a "dreadful" piece of legislation.
The Watson Wyatt partner believes the Bill, which is due to receive Royal Assent in November, should be rewritten and introduced in 2006 because it is “too long and too complicated” and fails to encourage pension saving in its current form.
His comments come just three weeks before Pension Commission chairman Adair Turner is due to submit an interim report on the pensions crisis.
Turner, who has slammed the complexity of both the private and state systems, is expected to recommend simplification.
Pickering said: “History will use two measures to judge this Pensions Bill. Did it increase the amount of money within and the number of members covered by pension schemes?
“Did it increase the proportion of each contribution that was spent on benefits and not on avoidable red tape?It is already clear to all fair-minded folk that the answer to both these questions will be a resounding “no”.”
He added: “Because we need a small Pensions Bill and not a big one, there is still time to do the job properly and have a modern legislative framework in place by April 2006.”
Trustee Code of Practice board chairman Brian Holden agreed.
He said: “The Bill is probably as long as the 1995 Pensions Act and has made no progress. It is not making things simpler and easier to understand for employers, trustees and employees.”
There are at least another 100 statutory instruments still to be added to the Bill, which now includes more than 300 clauses.
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