Baroness Ros Altmann, who has campaigned in support of Remain, says Brexit has led to issues such as the pensions dashboard, social care funding, incentives for low earners in net pay schemes and the pension cold-calling ban, all being either put on hold threatened with the axe.
The Department for Work and Pensions is rumoured to be on the verge of putting on hold or scrapping the pensions dashboard, which it had originally committed to deliver by 2019.
A petition has been started calling for the project to be saved, and has nearly reached 100,000 signatures in just a few days.
Altmann says: “The biggest problem of all is the ongoing failure to tackle Social Care Funding. Each day that passes, more people are losing out in our broken social care system. There is no money set aside to deal with the costs of future care and despite promises of a new Green Paper, nothing has happened. The paper was originally due in Summer 2017, then delayed to end-2017, then was promised before summer recess this year and now is said to appear in ‘autumn 2018’.
The pensions cold-calling ban was promised by June but the Government has issued another consultation.
“There are rumours that the DWP no longer wishes to be directly involved in the dashboard. This is a significant disappointment as most people have many different pensions and often lose track of past pots. Having the chance to see their pension savings all in one place would help improve engagement with pensions. The Government said it would facilitate development of the dashboard, but it seems no longer committed to this. It could be that problems with data and past errors are to blame, but could also be that officials are so occupied with other matters, including Universal Credit and Brexit, that they have no time to devote to the Dashboard.
“On net pay, the Treasury, DWP and Pensions Regulator have been asked to resolve this scandal, but have said that it is too difficult and are not devoting the time needed to sort it out. This leaves low earners being penalised unfairly, just because their employer’s scheme uses a particularly type of administration for its tax relief.
“On the cold-calling ban, the Government has now issued yet another consultation on the measures. It is vital that a proper cold-calling ban is introduced as soon as possible. While the problem is not tackled, more and more people are at risk of losing their life savings in pension scams. The ban on pensions cold-calling was first promised in 2016 and yet is still not in place.”
Aegon pensions director Steven Cameron says:”The Brexit process was never going to be a simple affair and from outset, the Government made clear legislation to implement Brexit would push other policy initiatives down the priority list. Two years after the Referendum vote, we’re now seeing the true impact as key initiatives which would have helped savers and investors are shunted backwards or potentially dropped entirely.
“The challenges of social care funding, saving for retirement and avoiding scammers are real issues today and will be with us long after the dust settles on Brexit. With no end in sight on Brexit deliberations, it’s worrying that so much of the Government’s ‘business as usual’ agenda for savers is being put on hold.”