EU/UK - MEPs have climbed down over changes to a draft EU pensions directive which threatened to scrap tax free lump sum retirement pay-outs in the UK.
The decision was welcomed by the UK’s EEF (Engineering Employers Federation) and NAPF (National Pension Funds Association), both of whom have been lobbying the European Parliament against other amendments which they claim could damage UK occupational pensions.
Commenting from Brussels, David Yeandle, EEF deputy director of employment policy, said: “This is very welcome news for all those involved in UK occupational pensions, which are already under strain, as the UK’s tax free lump sum payments seem to be no longer under threat from European law.”
A compromise package of amendments to the ‘Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision’ directive was tabled yesterday by the European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee.
But the entire directive is yet to be approved by the European Parliament next Tuesday before being finalised later this year. Implementation by member states is aimed for 2005.
Christine Farnish, NAPF chief executive, said: “However, we still have some concerns, especially over pension scheme funding measures.
“A lot now depends on how the government chooses to implement the directive.”
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers