Guest Comment: Post-Brexit pensions action

Written by Society of Pension Professionals DC committee member Ian Neale
25/07/17

The dust kicked up by the EU referendum and the election will be a long time settling. While the politicians have bigger fish to fry, they won’t be leaving pensions alone.

The DWP is to be stiffened by an infusion of Treasury thinking, with former long-serving Treasury Minister David Gauke now Under Secretary for Pensions and Financial Inclusion.

One of the few near-certainties is a new Finance Bill. Of the 80 per cent of the previous Bill jettisoned during the wash up, the much-derided reduction in the Money Purchase Annual Allowance is likely to reappear. Implementation next April would be more sensible than backdating to last.

A review of the state pension age was required before 7 May under section 27 of the 2014 Pensions Act and linked to this is the equally controversial ‘triple lock’. A reversion to the pre-1980 ‘double lock’ will not save a lot given current inflation projections.

Overdue too is a government response to last December’s pension scams consultation. Something must be done.

Also, the review of auto-enrolment already under way won’t be aborted, although the new government might park any radical proposals such as an extension to the self-employed.

In less chaotic times we might expect some action in response to the Green Paper. There’s a rare political consensus that The Pensions Regulator should be given extra ‘moral hazard’ powers, but for their game of Whack-a-Mole it needs binoculars more than better batteries.

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