Other points in Pensions Green Paper and accompanying Inland Revenue tax proposals:
• The Government is looking to move the age at which pension scheme members can draw from their tax privileged pension benefits from 50 to 55 by 2010. It is consulting on whether this will be a phased implementation.
• As of April 2004, the Government is planning to remove concessions given to certain types of employees for drawing pension benefits early. Professions such as athletes, footballers, dancers, downhill skiers and golfers have been able to take benefits from as early as age 30. As of next year this will no longer apply and all professions move to the same age basis of 50.
• The Faculty and Institute of Actuaries is pulling together a new set of professional guidance notes on actuarial duties for final salary schemes. The status of the guidance will be strengthened with statutory backing from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
• The Government is estimating the effect on investment strategies of the MFR replacement might be in the region of £70m a year across all pension schemes.
• The ongoing additional cost of the new pensions regulator is likely to be in the region of £3.5m a year, funded through an increase in the levy on occupational pension schemes. The start-up cost is likely to be about £2.5m.
• Implementation of Myners' proposals to require trustee training could cost roughly £6m a year for each of the next three years, with a small ongoing cost thereafter.
• The Government is to simplify the rules surrounding the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) to prevent those receiving it from potentially missing out on other state benefits. As a result, it is to delay, indefinitely, the introduction of anti-franking provisions contained in the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000.
• According to the Green Paper, its proposals, if implemented, could provide significant funding savings for employers. These could be found in: a lighter contracting out test; abolition of compulsory indexation of pensions; abolition of compulsory survivors' benefits for contracted-out schemes; and savings resulting from the effect of MFR replacement on schemes investment strategies.
• The Government believes if all changes are implemented as proposed, it could lead to an across the board saving for employers of £150m-£200m a year in administration costs.
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