Industry urged to consider informing members of minimum pension age increase

Trustees and providers may need to decide when and how to inform affected members of the proposed increase to the normal minimum pension age to ensure they have sufficient notice, according to Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF).

In February, the government laid out its plans to increase the normal minimum pension age from age 55 to 57 from 6 April 2028, in line with increases to the state pension age, as part of a consultation seeking views on the proposed implementation and protection framework.

HSF stated in a blog post: “Where a member’s normal minimum pension age will change from April 2028, trustees and providers should consider when and how to inform them to ensure that affected members have sufficient notice of the change and can adjust any plans they may have to retire or access their benefits accordingly.”

Additionally, the firm stated that trustees and providers needed to consider the impact of this proposed change on the members of their schemes, as well as determining whether some or all of their members might benefit from a protected pension age.

A planned protection regime would mean that individual members who had an unqualified right to take pension benefits at below the age of 57, without needing the consent of their employer or the trustees, would be protected from the 2028 increase.

Individuals with an existing protected pension age under the 2006 or 2010 pension tax regimes will see no change in their current protections, while HSF noted that the government had also stated its intention to ensure that individuals should retain their protection as part of a transfer where they become a member of another pension scheme as a result of a block transfer.

Government proposals also stated that members of the armed forces, police and fire service who did not already have a protected pension age would not be subject to the newly mooted increase.

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