Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon has commented on the absence of a Pensions Bill in today’s King’s Speech.
He said: “We’re disappointed that the Government didn’t include a Pensions Bill in today’s King’s Speech. This is likely to be the last parliamentary session before the General Election, and the current Government has been consulting on a long list of initiatives. In the absence of a Pensions Bill, other routes will need to be found to advance these.
“All eyes will now be on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. In July, the Chancellor set out his ambitions for defined contribution pension schemes to increase their investment in private equity, with a view to boosting the UK economy. The Government has been consulting on a raft of ideas to encourage such investment.
“The initiatives include a new value for money framework for defined contribution pensions which will shift the focus away from minimising costs to maximising value for members, including through seeking out new investment opportunities. Those schemes which can’t meet the new test will be expected to wind up and consolidate into a larger scheme, which is then more likely to invest in private assets. There are also plans for extending a new form of Collective Defined Contribution pension which is likely to have longer investment time horizons, making private asset investments more likely. There have also been consultations on plans to solve the issues with multiple small deferred pension pots and to open up a wider range of ‘at retirement’ choices to members of trust-based schemes.”
“While there’s no Pensions Bill to take these forward, we believe they remain Government priorities and await clarity on next steps. We encourage the Government to prioritise those initiatives with the greatest potential to boost retirement outcomes of individual members.”