UK - Employers will be forced to consult with trade unions and staff before making any changes to pension schemes, under a new amendment to the Bill.
Work and pensions secretary Andrew Smith said the proposal will require employers to “undertake consultation” when they make major changes to the scheme.
Employers said they had a “number of concerns” about the proposal – which was first mooted in the Green Paper, but left out of the Bill.
Burgeoning red tape will drive up costs and could trigger more scheme closures, the government has been told.
Mercer Human Resource Consulting worldwide partner Peter Thompson believes some of the new powers set out in the Pensions Bill are potentially quite draconian.
And he added: “We need assurance in the Bill that the new regulator will have more transparency, proportionality and accountability.”
Under the plans, schemes will be regulated by nine different bodies – the pensions regulator, the department for work and pensions, the Pensions Protection Fund, the pensions ombudsman, the new PPF ombudsman, the Treasury, the Inland Revenue, the Financial Services Authority and the Financial Services Ombudsman.
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