Guest comment: Pensions Bill still some way off

2018 saw a raft of consultations rushed through as Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, promised to deliver a Pensions Bill in 2019.

The bill aims to bring an end to the tinkering with pensions for some time. However, initially expected in May, the bill has been repeatedly delayed.

It was first postponed until the summer of 2019, and further delayed until this autumn. But, given the current political climate, can we truly be certain that the bill will come before parliament anytime soon?

As the bill is set to cover significant areas of interest, its delay has not been welcomed by many within the market. New defined benefit (DB) consolidators are busily creating products and have a host of interested prospects.

Their success is being hampered by the naturally cautious nature of pensions – no one wants to be the first to jump, and certainly not until the legislation is firmly in place.

The bill will also refine legislation for collective defined contribution (CDC) pensions arrangements. Whether you are a fan or not, they have attracted much industry interest – and Royal Mail is paving the way.

Again, those with interest in CDC are forced to play the waiting game.

Another area expected to be examined is the recently enhanced powers for TPR, who seems to have no trouble flexing its muscles at the moment.

Is the delay a blessing, allowing time to prepare for the legislation, or is it an annoying obstacle to those eager for the green light?

It is most likely to be the latter and the industry may need to hold its breath for a while yet.

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