The new pensions minister Richard Harrington MP has committed to auto-enrolment (AE) and master trust regulation as he set out his priorities for the role.
Writing for Money Marketing on 2 August, Harrington, who replaced Baroness Ros Altmann in Theresa May's reshuffle last month, said AE was "the cornerstone of our private pension reforms".
The minister, whose role as under-secretary of state is more junior than Altmann's as minister of state, also said he would focus on "tightening up regulations on master trusts to better protect savers". In addition he will look to improve the guidance available and "protect people from excessive exit fees".
The minister sought to reassure savers worried by the recent high-profile coverage of the British Home Stores and Tata Steel pension schemes.
He wrote: "We have seen high-profile employer pension schemes going under recently and I want to reassure people that most funds are being managed perfectly well and where there is a scheme deficit, robust recovery plans are in place which spread the cost over the time."
Harrington's comments do not seem to suggest an imminent shake-up of pensions policy, instead focusing on continuing the work of Altmann and former work and pensions minister Stephen Crabb.
He wrote: "I want people to enjoy a more financially secure retirement, and my task now is to continue the pensions revolution and ensure the changes we have made over the last year set people on the right path for their later years - whether that is through automatic enrolment, the new state pension or providing additional protections for those enrolled in master trusts in the upcoming Pensions Bill."
Harrington also said the bill is expected to receive Royal Assent next year.
His comments seem to confirm predictions that a new minister, with relatively little experience in the sector, is unlikely to make major changes in the near future. Speaking to PP last month, Altmann and Steve Webb, who was pensions minister from 2010 to 2015, both said the government's agenda on pensions reform is likely to stay the same.
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