Regulation  

MP fears master trust rules put thousands at risk

MP fears master trust rules put thousands at risk

Frank Field, chairman of the work and pensions select committee, has written to chancellor George Osborne requesting that new pension legislation be brought forward in the upcoming session of parliament.

According to his letter, evidence gathered suggests gaps in regulation which have allowed potentially unstable master trusts onto the market could put the retirement savings of many thousands of people at risk.

This afternoon, the Work and Pensions Select Committee and Business, Innovation and Skills Committee will hold a joint evidence session on the BHS pension fund.

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The Pensions Regulator is looking at whether the owner of British Home Stores will have to plug holes in the collapsed retail chain’s pension fund.

On 25 April the group officially went into administration, after 88 years of business, putting 11,000 jobs at risk.

The committee’s inquiry into the Pension Protection Fund and pensions regulation, which is using BHS as a case study, is also encountering concerns over the range and effectiveness of powers available to both the regulator and fund trustees with regards to occupational pension funds, Mr Field said.

Mr Field added pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann said in March she had been pressing colleagues in government for a pensions bill.

He said the Department for Work & Pensions confirmed it has undertaken the necessary preparations for legislation and questioned whether a Pensions Bill should be included in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech.

ruth.gillbe@ft.com