Guy Opperman resigns as Pensions Minister

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, has resigned from his position in government.

His resignation follows in the footsteps of over 50 other ministers in Prime Minister, Boris Johnson's, government who felt that Johnson's position as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party was untenable.

Johnson has also announced that he is resigning, but he is expected to remain as Prime Minister until the Conservative Party selects a new leader.

In his resignation letter, dated 6 July 2022, which he posted on Twitter today, 7 July, Opperman said: "It has been the honour of my life to serve as a government minister, under three successive Prime Ministers, including these last five years as Pensions Minister. My view is that it is important to work as a team and deliver on the priorities that matter most to my constituents in Northumberland.

"As a minister, I accept and understand the requirement of collective ministerial agreement upon which our system relies. The record of this government, as we have faced the challenges of the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the consequential impact on the cost of living and inflation is something I am immensely proud to have been a part of. I have backed you throughout these challenges."

In the letter, in which he asked Johnson to stand down as Prime Minister, he also stated how proud he was of his achievements in government.

"I am proud of what we have achieved at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). I want to put on record my thanks to the DWP civil servants and ministerial teams I have worked with to produce and pass five acts of parliament, grow workplace and state pensions to record levels, and passing the ground-breaking Pension Schemes Act that dramatically reforms pensions in the UK," he wrote.

Opperman became the longest-serving Pensions Minister on 11 June 2022, having surpassed the 1,822 days Steve Webb was in the job between 12 May 2010 and 8 May 2015.

His tenure since 14 June 2017 saw Opperman oversee several policy changes, most notably the development and passage of the Pension Schemes Act 2021.

The act introduced a number of policy initiatives, such as the framework for the introduction of pensions dashboards and collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes, the expansion of The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR’s) powers, and the requirement for schemes to adopt and report against the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

He also oversaw the introduction of new powers for trustees to halt pension transfers if they saw signs of a suspected scam.

“I am privileged to have served as Pensions Minister of this great country for the last five years," commented Opperman at the time of becoming the longest-serving Pensions Minister.

“I’m proud of the progress made, especially our landmark Pension Schemes Act which made pensions safer, better and greener, and am excited about what’s still to come as we work to ensure the record number of Brits now saving for a pension can achieve the best retirement possible.”

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