MP slams gov’t response to pensions report

MP slams gov’t response to pensions report

Frank Field, chairman of the work and pensions select committee, has criticised what he says is the government’s failure to respond fully to the committee’s report on progress with auto-enrolment and pensions reforms.

The committee published its report in March when it made a number of recommendations, including increasing the age people can access their pension pots to 60.

Dame Anne Begg, the then-chairman of the committee, also warned that guidance service Pension Wise was unlikely to be sufficient.

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In a letter to pensions minister Baroness (Ros) Altmann, Labour MP Mr Field said: “The committee is very disappointed with the government’s response to the report produced by our predecessors on auto-enrolment.

“The government has had more than two months since the election to pull together a full response, and has failed miserably to do so.

“It seems similarly reluctant to come forward with information on the effectiveness, or otherwise, of the advice given by Pension Wise to people trying to get their heads round the new pension drawdown freedoms.”

However, in her response to the select committee Baroness Altmann wrote: “As the work and pensions select committee will be launching a pension flexibilities inquiry after summer recess, and following the Treasury announcement of a consultation on this topic in the autumn, the bulk of the detailed response will be dealt with via this process.”

Adviser view

Kevin Morgan, managing director of Hertfordshire-based Consilium Financial Planning, said “It is noticeable that Frank Field has been a thorn in the side of legislators ever since he returned to the back benches, including Labour, Coalition and now Conservative administrations.

“Because of the importance of this legislation he does have a point. However, two months is actually quite a short time when you think of how full the government’s legislative programme is.”