PLSA IC 21: Govt to consult on simpler pension statement regulations 'shortly'

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, has confirmed that the government is working on the details of regulations relating to simpler annual pension statements and they will be consulted on "shortly".

Speaking at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) Investment Conference 2021, Opperman said he was grateful for the pensions industry's "constructive input" during the process.

In October 2020, the government announced several consultations on simpler statements' timing and design, while confirming plans to push ahead with mandatory simpler statement legislation for auto-enrolment defined contribution schemes.

"Enabling people to see more clearly and understand their pension savings, and to cut through the jargon and complexity that too often gets in the way is utter crucial," Opperman added.

"That’s why I want to ensure that one simpler statement is the key pension-related communication received by those people and is more engaging."

He also confirmed plans to build on the idea of a 'pension statement season' and creating a national conversation about the importance of pension saving, and will be setting out his approach in the spring or early summer.

"I believe that pension statement season, a short period each year where people are receiving their statements will help re-enforce the normalisation of workplace pension saving," Opperman stated.

"My ambition is to create a national conversation about the importance of pension saving. We are working on this and I’ll be setting out my approach in the spring or beginning of the summer."

During the session, Opperman rejected the idea that there was now too much regulation around pensions.

He noted that although some said there was too much regulation, some wanted him to introduce more, and that everything introduced in the Pension Schemes Act was "appropriate".

Opperman described climate change as the "defining issue" in the world and pensions space, and called on any pension trustees that are not aware of the risks and not taking action to "take a good, long, hard look in the mirror".

Furthermore, he re-affirmed his stance that the best way forward on mitigating climate risk was to seek change in companies that schemes are invested in, rather than divestment.

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