UK - The government's pension review has already received more than 20 responses.
Former NAPF chairman Alan Pickering - who heads the review - said he wanted the recommendations to be tailored to the needs of groups and individuals.
Pickering said: “The pension arrangements should be ones which individuals and groups want to make and are not intended to dovetail an over-prescriptive, unduly intrusive regulatory system. I would regard it as a disappointing outcome if we were to produce a system which was hallmarked by rigidity”
Pickering stressed the urgency of the review and said he was mindful that effective action was needed as soon as possible. The review is expected to be presented to work and pensions secretary Alistair Darling by July.
Pickering said: “I would rather produce an end result in July 2002 than the end result in 2003. The system is so complicated that the longer we leave it in place the greater damage there will be for the pensions system. It is in urgent need for simplification.”
But Pickering admitted no decision had yet been taken on how any recommendations could be implemented.
He said: “At this stage the jury is out on how much guidance is needed and the extent to which the guidance should be in the form of regulation or code of practice. Whether rules are best provided through legislation or private sector operated codes of practice has not been decided.”
• The Occupational Pensions Advisory Service’s response to the government’s consultation period has recommended to “significantly reduce” the number and types of pension schemes available.
OPAS added it would like to see streamlining of legislation to promote more “clarity” and understanding for both pension administrators and the public. OPAS also recommended a standardisation of scheme rules and terminology.
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