The government is planning to release proposals on pension scams, reducing fees and charges, and improving transparency "very soon", according to Richard Harrington.
The pensions minister's comments could spell a Queen's Speech packed with pensions proposals, with just a few weeks left of this Parliamentary session.
Speaking during work and pensions questions on 27 March, Harrington said the government would soon provide an update on its proposal to ban cold-calling.
"The government takes the threat posed by scams very seriously indeed," he said. "We run campaigns to highlight the risk posed by scams to savers, and we have established a cross-government taskforce to gather and share intelligence, and to co-ordinate enforcement action.
"We have also consulted on further measures to tackle scammers, including a proposal to ban cold calling in relation to pensions. Our next step will be announced very soon."
Pressed on the timing of this measure, Harrington reiterated "very soon is the answer" and added "the steps we intend to take should make prosecutions for scam cold calling much easier".
The government recently closed a consultation on its proposals to tackle pension scams, stating it would report on its findings later in the spring.
The pensions minister gave a similar answer when questioned on reducing fees and charges, stating that both the government and The Pensions Regulator would make an announcement "very soon".
Shadow pensions minister Alex Cunningham asked the minister on its plans to improve transparency, also noting: "The government missed an opportunity to tackle a wide range of issues in the pensions industry, but chose to ignore them."
He referred to the Pension Schemes Bill, which was amended by the House of Lords to introduce measures for greater transparency, member engagement, and clarity on costs. However, these amendments were later removed by the House of Commons during the bill's committee stage.
In response, Harrington said: "The transparency agenda is part of a much broader agenda, and the government will make a proposal very soon."
Royal London director of policy Sir Steve Webb thinks there will be a Pensions Bill in the 2017 Queen's Speech, and expects more legislation and consultations.
"I don't think they will be allowed to put much in it, as the Parliamentary timetable will be dominated by all matters Brexit. But, for example, if they want to do anything in response to the DB Green Paper, it would need legislation. Similarly, the Treasury's consultation on cold-calling which they issued before Christmas will need legislation - I'm not sure if that would necessarily be DWP legislation, although it might be."
He added the "big unknown" is whether legislative changes are needed in response to the 2017 AE review, and how quickly they would be in place given the review has only just started.
As there would have to be further consultation on the details - such as whether the government decides to include transaction costs in the charge cap, lowering the charge cap, or make other changes to AE - this may have to be included in the 2018 Queen's Speech, he said.
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