UK - Senior members of the government-sponsored Employer Task Force on Pensions fear their findings will be "swept under the carpet".
The group has until March 2005 to make its recommendations – after the department for work and pensions finalises the new Pensions Bill.
And there is confusion over the role of the group.
One member of the task force’s advisory group – who declined to be named – said: “I don’t know if the role of the advisory group is proactive or reactive.”
He hoped the government would “pay attention” to the group’s views but feared it would be similar to Alan Pickering’s simplification review which “picked up on certain things and rejected others”.
“Given the timetable the group has, I don’t see how its recommendations will get into the Pensions Bill because we’re expecting legislation next year.”
Merrill Lynch vice-chairman Adair Turner is also heading a government commission on pensions and savings.
But IPN’s sister publication, Professional Pensions, has learnt that this group will also report back after new legislation has been introduced.
Leading industry figures reacted with dismay over the development.
Watson Wyatt partner John Ball said: “The question is what are they actually trying to achieve?
“If the task force has got such a long time period, there must be questions as to whether there’s going to be any meaningful reform.”
And Hymans Robertson senior partner Ronnie Bowie said: “I’ve never been terribly clear as to what these groups are supposed to do.
“If the employer’s groups come up with something that helps form some new model that will do the business for the next generation of workers, that would be positive.
“But if they are just going to be looking backwards and tinkering with benefits people already have, that’s a waste of time.”
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