Guest comment - Pensions in 2020

Last year the PLSA’s policy board identified four key themes for pensions. Now we have a new government in place, let’s see how their plans match ours.

The first is well-run schemes. This year will be the first full year of the new regime for master trusts.

It will also see The Pensions Regulator (TPR) pressing forward on its agenda on trusteeship and governance.

We can also expect a new DB funding code from TPR and initiatives on value for money. So, lots of activity. We must ensure the government adopts a proportionate approach.

The second is effective engagement. Savers’ engagement with their retirement savings is too low.

The Pension Schemes Bill will provide much-needed clarity on the future of the pensions dashboard; something the PLSA supports, provided savers are fully protected and a sensible timetable is adopted.

We would like links in the dashboard to planning tools such as the PLSA’s Retirement Living Standards.

Thirdly is adequate contributions. Here, there appears to be less progress.

Not removing the lower band of auto-enrolment contributions in the Pension Schemes Bill is a missed opportunity.

On the upside, the government’s commitment to find a solution to the net pay/RAS pensions tax relief issue, should put some extra pounds in pensions.

Finally, scale and pensions. Yes, we now have a new master trust authorisation regime but the Pension Schemes Bill omitted proposal for defined benefit superfunds.

So, a mixed picture on this important issue.

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