UK - Pension funds will take time to adjust to the "complex" new age discrimination laws, and ministers should take a flexible "common sense" approach when enforcing them, the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has claimed.
Joanne Segars, NAPF chief executive, claimed that complying to the regulations would require 150 hours of work at a cost of up to £180 000.
"Given that the regulations have only just been finalised, it will be very difficult for schemes to ensure that they are fully compliant from today. We urge the Government to adopt a common sense approach when it comes to the enforcement of the new regulations – at least for the first quarter of 2007.”
Meanwhile, Mercer Human Resource Consulting has claimed the draft guidance on how age discrimination applied to pension schemes could "do more harm than good".
Even though the pensions aspects of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations have been put in place, final guidance on how to implement the regulations would not be published until after they come into effect, the consultants pointed out.
Many employers and trustees will already have begun the costly and complex exercise of addressing their pension scheme rules to avoid unlawful age discrimination... [but] the delay in publishing the final guidance may force them to revisit planned amendments, adding unnecessary expense to the compliance process.
Enhanced powers for The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to prosecute and fine company directors who "wilfully or recklessly" put their defined benefit (DB) pension scheme at risk will be hard to enforce, commentators say.
Melrose has pledged to contribute up to £1bn to GKN's pension schemes as part of a final offer to acquire the engineering business.
Existing master trusts will be forced to pay £41,000 when applying for authorisation under the upcoming regime, the government has confirmed.
UPDATE 2 - DWP publishes DB white paper: Stronger powers for TPR, DB chair statements to be introduced
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will be given the power to fine company bosses who deliberately puts their defined benefit (DB) schemes at risk, the government has confirmed.