UK - Although the two-month postponement of the implementation of the new age discrimination regulations was welcomed by the pensions industry, some claimed the delay will bring about a further period of uncertainity.
The government announced the section of legislation related to pension schemes will be postponed to 1 December 2006.
Ken MacIntyre, policy advisor, National Association of Pension Funds, said uncertainty would be rife among employers, since they need clarification on what is discriminatory or not.
He suggested amendments be made to include a blanket exemption for all pension schemes.
"The exemptions in the original regulations were fairly limited and schemes would have to check everything to ensure there was no discrimination, direct or indirect," he said.
Law firms commenting on the announcement welcomed the postponment but highlighted difficulties that coudl arise as a result.
Pinsent Masons said: "Unless the government decides what amendments are to be made to the regulations quickly, employers and trustees may be left scrambling around towards the end of the year trying to take on board those amendments."
David Everett, research partner, Lane, Clark & Peacock echoed the sentiment.
“It is good news, in that the problems with the regulations may be dealt with. However,the delay also creates a further period of uncertainity for pension schemes,” he said.
Another law firm, Norton Rose, recommended its clients delay implementation of any changes until the full extent of the changes to the legislation are known.
Industry players also criticised the government for making the announcement of the delay too late.
Deborah Cooper, Principal at Mercer Human Resource Consulting said: "We have gone to great lengths to explain the difficulties of applying age regulations to pension schemes. It is a shame the announcement to reassess the regulations was made at the eleventh hour, as some pension schemes may have spent a great deal of money trying to comply with the initial proposals.
RPMI Railpen is in the next step in the journey towards achieving cost disclosure. Victoria Bell tells Stephanie Baxter about taking part in the Cost Transparency Initiative's pilot phase
Interserve's numerous defined benefit (DB) schemes have retained a sponsor link after the company entered into administration and was sold.
Chris Hannon has been named chairman of the Railways Pensions Trustee Company after a unanimous vote of approval from its board last week.
PP speaks to BESTrustees director Heather McGuire about her views on the CMA's review into the investment consultant and fiduciary management markets.