UK - Author of the government-commissioned report into occupational pensions, Alan Pickering, renewed his push for employers to take control of pension scheme design.
Speaking at a recent seminar held by international law firm Norton Rose, Pickering said: Pension scheme design must be undertaken in the workplace, not by Parliament. It should be easier for employers to set up and run pensions schemes that suit them and their employees.
The Pickering Report, published in July, considered making the private pensions framework more efficient whilst increasing security for pension scheme members.
Pickering, who is also former chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds, added: “In the future there should be less distinction between workplace and marketplace pensions schemes; consumers should be able to mix and match easily between the two.
“Parliament should create a framework in which pensions accumulation takes place more easily.
Also addressing the seminar was Peter Ford, head of pensions at Norton Rose, who was a member of the Report review team.
Commenting on the Report, Ford said: Company pension scheme costs were hidden in the past by the bull markets of the '80s and 90s. In the current market these costs are becoming more obvious and encourage employers to move away from decent pension provision.
He also echoed the Report's call for a new pensions act and a new type of pensions regulator. We need a regulator that acts as policeman and advisor to the industry rather than a 'box ticking machine.”
The seminar was chaired by Mark Heholt of the Department for Work and Pensions, who acted as secretary to the Report.
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