Pensions  

The reshuffle that wasn’t

The reshuffle that wasn’t

Despite the recent so-called reshuffle, most of the government’s big name ministers have remained in place.

Iain Duncan Smith has remained the secretary of state for work and pensions, while Labour’s Rachel Reeves, a former economist at the Bank of England and then for HBoS, is still his opposite number.

Meanwhile George Osborne remains chancellor of the exchequer with Chris Leslie, Labour MP for Nottingham East, becoming shadow chancellor. Mr Leslie replaces former shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who lost his seat in Morley and Outwood.

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Andrea Leadsom has been moved from her role as economic secretary to the treasury to minister for energy and climate change.

Her responsibility for banking and financial services has been passed to former whip Harriett Baldwin, who was previously head of currency management at JP Morgan Chase.

Greg Hands, a former whip who used to work on the trading floor in London, has replaced Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander as chief secretary to the Treasury. Mr Alexander lost his seat to the SNP in the election.

Perhaps the most high-profile appointment in the industry was that of Ros Altmann to pensions minister.

There had been concern about the lack of pensions expertise in parliament, following the Liberal Democrat Steve Webb’s failure to hold onto his Thornbury and Yate constituency seat.

Adrian Walker, retirement planning expert at Old Mutual Wealth, said: “We hope the new government will recognise the benefit of continuity and avoid the ministerial merry-go-round we have seen in this role in the past.”

The Labour party has not made any fundamental changes to its shadow cabinet, although former Labour shadow pensions secretary Gregg McClymont lost his Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East seat. Labour has not yet appointed a shadow pensions secretary to replace Mr McClymont.

Membership of the select committees will be agreed after the state opening of parliament, which is due to take place on Wednesday, 27 May. Once this event has happened, a motion will be tabled setting out which parties will chair each committee.

Members will only be elected to each committee after a chairman has been appointed.

Adviser view

Greg Heath, managing director of Lancashire-based Derbyshire Booth, said: “I think Ros Altmann’s appointment is a huge improvement.

“Steve Webb was a nice guy, and was radical in his thinking, but there was too much politics in pensions before, and Ms Altmann’s knowledge of the industry is better.”