State Pension  

Conservatives on post-Brexit pension plans

Conservatives on post-Brexit pension plans

The Conservative party has once again moved to reassure individuals with a UK pension currently living in the European Union during its annual conference in Birmingham today (1 October).

Secretary of state for the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) Esther McVey said the party will protect UK pensions in the European Union after Brexit.

Currently the UK has a deal with the European Economic Area so that UK residents living in these countries sees their state pension rise with the cost of living.

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So, for a UK resident living in the EEA, the state pension increases by the triple-lock - whichever is the greatest of earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent - as it does in the UK.

Ms MvVey said: "We will ensure that people with UK pensions that have moved to the EU will have their pensions protected.

"We will provide a triple lock on people with UK pensions living in the European Union. We are delivering a private pension revolution, with more people than ever contributing to their pensions."

However Ms McVey failed to offer any greater certainty for UK citizens living in the European Union who have private pension pots.

No-deal Brexit documents published by the government this summer warned insurance companies may be unable to pay pensions to their UK customers living in the European Union.

Ms McVey also used her speech to state that the party was dedicated to delivering the pensions dashboard.

She said: "Auto-enrolment has seen nearly 10 million new pension savers. So we will continue to support an industry-led pensions dashboard."

Commenting on Twitter, Tom McPhail, head of policy at Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown, said it was good to hear Ms McVey reiterating government support for the Pensions Dashboard.

He said: "Hargreaves Lansdown believes it must fulfil three criteria for success: 1) Universal coverage, no exceptions (even if not all on day one) 2) State pension data and 3) Multiple access points."

However the former GMTV-presenter turned politician failed to offer any detail on what that support would look like despite more than 20 pension providers and administrators demanding 'a firm stance on compulsion' from the government on the pension dashboard last month.

The plan behind the pension dashboard, which is due to launch in 2019, is to create the technology to allow savers to see all of their retirement pots in one place at the same time, giving them a greater awareness of their assets and how to plan for their retirement.

Earlier this month, the government said it would let the industry take lead on the project and shied back from  committing to force providers to submit client data.

Back in July FTAdviser reported there were rumours that Ms McVey had plans to kill off the pensions dashboard, but the DWP was quick to say that it was continuing to work on delivering the tool.

McVey's recent show of support for the pensions dashboard comes after a report from pensions consultants LCP and YouGov found that 21 per cent of people were in favour of the dashboard and would be encouraged to save more with it.