Kate Smith, Head of Pensions at Aegon, comments:
“Next week’s Queen’s Speech will mark the state Opening of Parliament and outline the programme of legislation the Government intends to progress during the new parliamentary session. There may be a few surprises but one thing we know for sure is that the Online Safety Bill, which aims to protect people using the internet, will make its second year appearance, having been originally introduced last year.
“Bills are normally expected to take under a year to go through the process to coincide with parliamentary sessions but a considerable amount of scrutiny and amendments have caused delays. The good news is after intense calls from the pensions industry*, the bill now includes fraudulent paid-for adverts, giving greater protection to people from financial scams.”
“One notable absence will be a Pensions Bill which is needed to implement the long-awaited 2017 reforms of auto-enrolment. It’s absolutely critical this is introduced in next years’ Queen’s Speech at the latest to give any chance of the reforms being implemented in the mid-2020s, as originally recommended. These would lead to more people benefitting from auto-enrolment and higher contributions. Delaying this any further could dramatically reduce the chance of the changes taking place this decade.
“A new Pension Bill could also include other consumer-friendly initiatives such as legislation to help address the exponential growth of small pension pots.”