A rolling deregulatory review of pension legislation has received a boost with the appointment of two external reviewers.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced it has appointed Ed Sweeney, the joint deputy general secretary of the union Amicus, and Chris Lewin, former head of UK pensions at Unilever, to “drive forward a shake-up of pensions regulation”.
Announced earlier this year in the first pensions white paper in May, the government says the deregulatory review will look at ways of lightening regulation and reducing the burden on employers who provide good workplace schemes.
Mentioned as part of the DWP’s simplification plan earlier this week, the review has so far led to the government scrapping new regulations on the disclosure of information to members of occupational pensions, as well as measures included in the Pensions Bill such as allowing Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) rights to normal rights and for the abolition of contracting out for defined contribution (DC) schemes.
In addition, the DWP has already set up an external advisory group made up of representatives from various organisations such as the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), with the board currently developing proposals for consideration.
However, the DWP says Sweeney and Lewin will set the direction of the review, and states they will work with the advisory group to identify potential areas for change and to develop proposals based on “robust analysis”.
James Purnell, minister for pensions reform, says the review is a real opportunity to cut excess tape around private pensions, and reduce the legislative burden on those employers already offering employees a good quality scheme and employer contribution.
He adds: “It is crucial the review seeks a consensus on the regulatory balance required between member protection and encouraging employer provision of pensions. The review will be a rolling review but the two external reviewers will work with the advisory group to produce an initial report by spring 2007.”
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