UK - Conservative work and pensions spokesman David Willetts has agreed to table an amendment to the Pensions Bill to delay the compulsory purchase of annuities in scheme wind-up.
He made the announcement during a meeting with members of the Pensions Action Group to which Professional Pensions was exclusively invited.
He said: “We are going to look at making amendments to the Bill, delaying the purchase of annuities so it is done on a suspension basis.”
The aim is to use the funds in schemes that are about to wind up to pay the pension entitlements of existing members. This prevents the money being “whittled away” on expensive annuity products.
The amendment will run parallel to the party’s fourth Private Member’s Bill launched in January, which aims to remove the requirement to invest in annuities upon retirement.
While the party’s pensions policy adviser Stephen Yeo said that while the amendment had “little chance” of being voted in, it would put extra pressure on the government to help resolve the issue for future wind-ups.
He explained: “It will force the pensions minister to go to the standing committee and say on record what his objections are. It holds more weight than putting a debate in the House because in committee there is some interchange.”
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