In the rush before the general election he has launched another initiative to get onto the statute books in time.
These are Collective Defined Contribution schemes - collective schemes modelled on similar schemes in the Netherlands and Denmark - that allow savers to invest together in a combined pool of assets, sharing the risk, with an expectation of what the fund will produce at retirement.
CDC schemes operate in a similar fashion to with profits funds, whereby savers are all investing together over the long term, and actuaries will need to work out what the needs of the fund will be.
The principles sound promising, and the plan is for them to pave the way for “defined ambition” pensions, which are hoping to produce something more reliable than the current widespread defined contribution schemes.
The problem is that employers are currently spending a huge amount of time and money in complying with auto-enrolment. It is unlikely they will want to launch another new type of scheme in a hurry.
The idea is that many of these schemes could be set up on an industry-wide basis, but critics suggest that those most in need, say those in retail or construction, would still not have enough money to put aside.
One advantage of these schemes is the economies of scale – on a really big scheme, the costs of administration would be less – but the size and collective element could also have a downside. The schemes work on a large scale basis, and depend on sizeable assets to ensure that those coming to retire have the money they were expecting. At present, people will still be able to take their cash out early – at 55 – and this could make the scheme unviable.
CDC schemes sound an interesting idea, but the question is whether they can attract enough members to make them work over the long term.