UK- The Pensions Commission yesterday hosted a seminar to discuss options for reform of the UK pensions system, admitting that consultation following its first report had lead to little agreement on a way forward.
Attendees at the seminar included academic pensions specialists, experts from think-tanks specialising in pension issues, civil servants, and leaders from institutions representing employers, employees, pension funds, insurance companies and pensioners, and other interested groups.
Speaking before the seminar Adair Turner (pictured), chair of the Pensions Commission, said: .Today's seminar is designed to ensure that we hear the full range of proposals being made and that other participants in the debate understand the valid counter-arguments that can be made against almost any proposal.
The seminar was structured in four sessions:• The present situation and trends: The aim of this session is to identify whether there is agreement on what will happen in the absence of new policy initiatives.• Should pensions policy have an earnings-related objective and if so how should it be pursued? The key issue in this session will be between the relative merits of compulsory versus voluntary approaches.• The flat rate state pension: Are reforms needed to provide a sound basis for the earnings-related element of the system (whether that be compulsory or voluntary)?• Barriers to working later.
The independent Pensions Commission was established in December 2002 following the Government's pensions Green Paper. The Commission's terms of reference are in summary: to keep under review the regime for UK private pensions and long-term savings, and to make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on whether there is a case for moving beyond the current voluntarist approach.
Coats' pension scheme members are not entitled to annual increases of 5%, the High Court has ruled in a rare instance of a court overturning a decision of The Pensions Ombudsman.
Trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme (APS) have been granted permission to use more than £1m of scheme assets to fund an appeal over discretionary increases.
Chancellor Philip Hammond is being pressed to tackle the impact of pensions allowances on the NHS' ability to recruit and retain staff.