Calls for PM to 'snap into action' on pensions

Calls for PM to 'snap into action' on pensions

The new majority government has been urged to "snap into action" and deliver on its pension promises following its landslide win last night. 

The Conservatives won the general election by a decisive victory with a current Tory majority of 79, as Labour lost 59 seats.

The financial services industry is now calling on the government to swiftly honour the promises made in its manifesto, which pledged to tackle pension tax for both low-paid and high-paid workers.

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The government was working on a pensions bill before the election, which included long-awaited rules around pension dashboards, collective defined contribution schemes and new powers for The Pensions Regulator, and had enjoyed cross-party support. But the bill was dropped alongside the other bills as parliament dissolved ahead of the election.

Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter, said the regular parliamentary process had ground to a halt as a result of the election, and called for pension policy to now get "the attention it deserves". 

Mr Greer said: "With the Conservatives finally securing a majority, we need the government to snap into action and deliver on some long awaited promises.

"The Pensions Bill, which includes the pension dashboard, was finally going to get the last seal of approval before the election, meanwhile most people have given up on the social care green paper as a lost cause." 

The Conservative’s manifesto, published on November 24, was criticised by the pensions industry for its lack of detail on how it plans to fix the social care funding crisis.

Boris Johnson had promised in his first speech as prime minister that he would “fix the crisis in social care once and for all” but so far nothing concrete has materialised.

The Conservative manifesto only stated “nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it," with no detail on how the party plans to address the funding issue.

Mr Greer added: "With the political posturing over hopefully these policy areas will get the attention they deserve. And with a Queen’s Speech just a week away we could get clarity sooner rather than later.

"However, the dreaded 'B' word will likely mean we still have some time to wait for any meaningful change."

The Conservatives had promised swift action if elected into office and a Queen's Speech could now happen before Christmas.

The party's manifesto had made promises to fix a tax relief anomaly which means the lowest earning workers, the vast majority of whom are women, can miss out on £8,000 in pension savings over the course of their working life.

It also pledged to fix the tapered annual allowance which is affecting doctors’ pensions, but stopped short of promising to scrap the taper altogether.

It is possible the industry can expect fast action on this, with the party having promised to hold an urgent review to solve the "taper problem" within the first 30 days of winning the election.