UK - Consultants are urging Chancellor Gordon Brown to resist making any changes which would affect pensions in his April 17 Budget.
They point out that with several pension reviews currently under way, it would wrong for Brown to take any action which pre-empt the results of these. Towers Perrin principal Mark Duke said: “I have absolutely no faith whatsoever that any action that the government might take now in the Budget in relation to pensions is going to be beneficial, so I think doing nothing is probably better.”
However, others in the industry predict that the government will make few changes to help pension schemes and are expecting only minor tweaks in this area. Some analysts hope that DB schemes might benefit from a change in stamp duty rules and that the government will also investigate the impact of FRS17.
Schroder chief economist Keith Wade said: “The Chancellor could announce an investigation into the consequences of FRS17 and the effects that these are having on DB schemes.”
Research from RJ Temple – the independent financial adviser – shows changes to pensions rules in the Budget are a low priority for the public at large as well. Only 17% of people interviewed listed making pensions compulsory as their top priority, with less than 7% urgently wanting the removal of annuity restrictions. Instead, the majority of people interviewed wanted to see improvements in health and education.
By Jonathan Stapleton
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has set out plans to use "new regulatory initiatives" with over 1,000 schemes as it aims to tighten its regulatory grip and boost member outcomes.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced it is delaying the provision of data that will enable pension schemes to confirm the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) benefits to pay to members until the end of the year.
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