No guarantee of Pensions Bill this year

No guarantee of Pensions Bill this year

The minister for pensions and financial inclusion has failed to guarantee that the government will introduce a Pensions Bill in 2019, as previously announced.

In a written answer to Parliament, Guy Opperman (pictured) said the government will bring forward legislation in this area "as soon as parliamentary time permits".

In October Mr Opperman said he was planning to introduce a comprehensive private pension bill this year, which should mark the end of tinkering with pensions for a "considerable period of time".

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However, with the Brexit deadline extension to October 31 experts have questioned whether the bill would make it onto the legislative agenda this year.

The Pensions Bill would legislate on initiatives such as pension dashboards and collective defined contribution schemes. It would also strengthen The Pensions Regulator’s powers to enforce legislation and go after the non-compliant.

Mr Opperman noted that the government had been active in the pension space, having committed all these initiatives.

But Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said the UK had a "zombie government" at the moment which could not get any meaningful legislation through.

He said: "Sadly for Guy Opperman his pensions reform agenda has been caught in the mire, with measures including introducing pensions dashboards and mid-life MOTs, as well as reforms to protect defined benefit members, left waiting for the Brexit logjam to clear.

"Without a Pensions Bill, there is no guarantee any of these reforms will be brought in as planned. At best, they might be delayed, or at worst - from the pensions minister’s point of view at least – they risk never seeing the light of day."