UK - Senior industry figures have attacked the government for backtracking on its plans for "radical" pensions reform.
Work and pensions secretary Andrew Smith told the NAPF’s recent autumn conference they should be prepared for more consultation on the pensions Green Paper.
But Buck Consultants head of technical services Kevin LeGrand said it made his “blood run cold” to hear that there would be more consulting.
He said: “Hasn’t the DWP had enough consultation? It’s had all this time and all these ideas thrown at them from the industry – ideas that, when you look at them, share much common ground.”
And LeGrand added it was “very worrying” that the government had constantly pursued its own ideas – such as maintaining contracting-out and rejecting compulsion – while failing to take the industry’s suggestions on board.
OPAS chief executive Malcolm McLean stressed that the government must not back down on simplification.
He said: “There is a crisis of confidence in pensions and there are some things that can’t afford to wait for more consultation.”
McLean cited the minimum funding requirement as “a major concern” and something the government could resolve outside of the green paper by amending current legislation.
But PMI president Ian Eggleden believes it is unlikely there will be any quick action on MFR because of the “complete absence” of anything to do with pensions in the Queen’s Speech.
He said: “I’m concerned the government doesn’t know what it wants to do.
“It knows it needs to do something but maybe a few more ideas and consultation buys a bit more time – by which time the MP select committee on pensions will have reported back and might give the government direction.”
But Eggleden said consultation was not acceptable.
“What we need is action.”
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