Queen’s speech – some progress on pensions

A dashboard

What did the Queen’s speech contain on pensions?

Today, in the Queen’s speech, a range of new rules and powers were outlined which are likely to be of interest to all individuals and many employers.

Thankfully, pensions scammers are being put further on the back foot with a commitment from the Government:

“To protect people savings for later life, new laws will provide greater powers to tackle irresponsible management of private pension schemes.”

We’re also likely to see more detail on the Government’s long talked about commitment to dashboards. As reported in the FT:

What is happening on pensions dashboards?

The document included rules for pension schemes to provide data to pension dashboards – which will ensure people throughout the UK have easy access to information about their pensions, who manages them and what they are worth.

The Government estimates that people will have 11 jobs over their lifetime, so having all the information in one place is to be welcomed.

That’s progress and to be welcomed, but I hope that the dashboards are part of a broader set of financial statistics to allow people to make the right decisions about how to fund later life.

Did personal allowances get changed?

The budget is due on 6 November and we’d expect details on that to be issued at that point in time.

What do the proposals mean for employers?

The announcement took forward some ideas from the White Paper – especially in relation to the regulator’s powers. Of particular note to employers are the proposed powers for The Pensions Regulator to gain timely information on new schemes from employers so that it can enforce its rules if necessary.

The regulator is also gaining teeth when it comes to funds having been run recklessly. The speech contained the proposed introduction of a new criminal offence (carrying up to seven years imprisonment), the ability to fine heavily (up to £1 million) and the ability to disqualify directors who fell short of the TPR’s standards. Movements out of DC schemes in the past year are estimated at 100,000 transactions – which is why the Government wants to tackle potential scams.

What do the proposals mean for DB funding/trustees?

Trustees will, if the proposals pass into law, be required to show how they will fully fund their DB scheme. All the more reason for Finance Directors and CFOs to have a clear and independent strategy if your company has a DB scheme.

Did auto-enrolment get extended?

There seem to be no plans to change current rules on auto-enrolment. There was also no mention of auto-escalation.

Can I read the full details?

Yes, it’s been published here after the Queen gave her speech.