The Queen’s Speech should include a “comprehensive” pensions bill, to pave the way for pensions dashboard, collective defined contribution pensions, as well as better treatment of non-taxpayers in auto-enrolment schemes.
Aegon’s pension director Steven Cameron is calling for this “widely trailed” pensions bill to be included in next week’s Queen’s Speech.
He says: “However unsettled the political landscape is, the Queen’s Speech remains an important mechanism for the current government to publicise its priorities for the coming parliamentary session.”
He says he hopes this bill will set down the legislation needed for pension dashboards and the new – but controversial – CDC schemes.
“ Of the three Pensions Bill topics, the aspect of greatest and most wide reaching importance concerning pension dashboards.
“While the industry working with the Money and Pensions Service Delivery Group can press ahead with many aspects of dashboard preparation, legislation is needed to compel all pension schemes and providers to supply comprehensive data and also to make sure that state pension information will be included. Without these elements, dashboard data will be full of gaps which could disillusion early users, losing the opportunity to turbo boost pension engagement.”
Cameron says there are other pressing pension priorities, although he does not necessarily expect them to feature in a forthcoming pensions bill.
“These include ensuring non-taxpayers in ‘net pay’ schemes receive the 20 per cent tax relief on their pension contributions to which they are entitled. The lowest earners deserve every help they can get to save for their retirement.
“At the other end of the earnings spectrum, it’s important to ensure tax rules and retirement savings incentives are fit for the future and work together without unintended adverse consequences. Issues with highly paid health professionals in the NHS scheme have shone a light on the sheer complexity of rules around pension lifetime and annual allowances. These are penalising an increasing number of people saving for retirement, encouraging some to refuse extra work or to retire early.”
He adds: “We also need to maintain momentum on improving the pension prospects of the growing army of self-employed.”