Aegon’s predictions for Labour priorities ahead of first King’s Speech since election win – too early for Pensions Bill?

The King’s Speech forms an important part of the State opening of parliament, which marks the start of the parliamentary year. In this instance, it’s the first year under the leadership of the newly-elected Labour Party and Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer.

While delivered by the monarch, the Speech is written by the government, setting out its priorities and including a number of proposed laws and other announcements. The King’s Speech is then debated in the House of Commons, followed by a vote. This vote is normally seen as symbolic, and the government is highly unlikely to lose due to its majority.

Ahead of the King’s Speech next week, Kate Smith, Head of Pensions at Aegon, comments on what could be included from a pensions perspective, although suggests it may be too early for a complete Pensions Bill:


“King Charles will deliver his second King’s Speech on 17 July – the first since, and only two weeks after, the UK General Election. This will set out the new government’s priorities for the year ahead.

“It seems too early to include a new Pensions Bill at this stage. It’s more likely to be one for next year, once the Labour government, with a new Pensions Minister, has had time to undertake its promised ‘pensions review’, alongside considering other policy initiatives already in flow and decided which to continue, change or cancel.

“One big change, already legislated for by the previous government, but not yet implemented, is the enhancement of auto-enrolment. This will see the minimum age reducing from 22 to 18, and calculating minimum pension contributions on earnings from the first £, so removing the £6,240 salary offset. No further primary legislation is needed here, but other initiatives the government may want to revisit include the Value for Money Framework, which may require new legislation.


“Rachel Reeves, in her first major speech as Chancellor (8 July), has given some indication of what we may expect in the King’s Speech, including its use of pension scheme assets to support the UK’s growth agenda. This, perhaps linked to a new National Wealth Fund, is one to look out for, although further consultation will be needed with the pensions industry before legislating.

“The new Chancellor also has a big focus on building more houses. Housing policy is becoming increasingly intertwined with pension policy and people’s finances in later life, with the assumption that most people will be mortgage-free homeowners by the time they retire, now sadly outdated. The lack of supply and affordability of housing means more people are likely to be renting in retirement, and as such, are less likely to have a financially comfortable retirement. 

“So far the government has been silent on social care and how this is to be funded. This also has a big bearing on people’s finances in later life, especially for those who need or will need care. Additionally, it has a big impact on wider families and on the likelihood of being able to pass wealth down through generations. We’re waiting to see if there will be any mention of this in the King’s Speech and possibly a re-commitment to – or review of – the previous Conservative government’s reforms, which were due to be implemented in October 2025.”


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