UK - A leading scheme manager branded the Pensions Bill "unworkable" at the PMI Spring Conference.
CarnaudMetalbox Group pensions manager Philip Read told delegates that the government has failed the industry “dismally”.
Read said: “The government came in when there was stability but made changes with huge unintended consequences. The DWP has added complexity which makes it impossible for schemes to plan, and government proposals have done nothing to stop the move from DB.”
“The PPF gives the false impression that benefits are guaranteed and is a political smokescreen for the good simply bailing out the bad. The new pensions regulator signals a more onerous, risky era of compliance and recent legislation promises nothing for members but tears.”
Department for work and pensions spokesman Peter Askins defended the Bill and said the UK pensions system was the envy of Europe.
Askins said Read gave no consideration to the regulatory regime and the PPF working as a “twin-peaked attack” and claimed it was incumbent on government and pension professionals to make the regime work.
He said: “We do not sit in Whitehall making this stuff up – the legislation we have now exists because people, including bodies such as the PMI, NAPF and ABI, called for action.
“The government has been honest in admitting it may have gone too far but is now trying to pull the pendulum back down and the Bill is an important step forward.”
Askins refused to discuss retrospective compensation but warned that there would be delays and amendments to the Bill.
These, he said, were due to the time needed for compliance with tax simplification, EU directives coming out late and problems remaining from the old regime.
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