UK - Unions have welcomed draft regulations aimed at clarifying pension rights for part-time workers.
The regulations – which will alter the time limits that apply to claims for access to schemes – will bring the UK into line with European regulations.Presently, part-timers can only make claims for retrospective membership of schemes within six months of leaving their employer.
Membership can be backdated for a maximum of two years.
Banking sector union Unifi negotiating officer Linda Gregory said: “If the government is producing statements telling us what the position is and giving further clarity, it will be very helpful.”
But lawyers were less enthusiastic.
Dickinson Dees head of pensions Martin Jenkins attacked the draft regulations and the December deadline the government has set for their implementation. He said the sheer volume of pension legislation in the pipeline would prevent the government from getting the regulations in place by December.
He added: “The regulations are very thin. The big logjam at the moment is the nitty gritty, the really detailed points on how you compensate someone for loss. It won’t clear the logjam, it’s not going to make it clearer for schemes in terms of what they should be doing.
“What they need is specific guidance on how the particular circumstances of individuals should be compensated. This doesn’t give any guidance. I’m not impressed, this is five out of 10.”
The consultation will close on October 15, and the regulations are due to come into force before the end of December.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has set out plans to use "new regulatory initiatives" with over 1,000 schemes as it aims to tighten its regulatory grip and boost member outcomes.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced it is delaying the provision of data that will enable pension schemes to confirm the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) benefits to pay to members until the end of the year.
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