Burghart announced as minister for pensions and growth

Burghart announced as minister for pensions and growth
Alex Burghart MP, minister for pensions and growth

Alex Burghart MP has been confirmed as minister for pensions and growth at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Burghart’s job title was unveiled at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s annual conference.

There had previously been some dispute as to what position he held — he told a Social Market Foundation and Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association joint event on October 3 that he was the pensions minister, but the DWP told Pensions Expert later that day that he was still an under-secretary.

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He succeeds former pensions minister Guy Opperman, and pledged to continue the work done, while elaborating on the ‘growth’ part of his new brief.

“Growth is a central part of this administration’s agenda. The PM has charged us all with working out how each of our briefs across government can help the UK to grow and get out of the post-Covid situation, exacerbated by Putin’s war in Ukraine, and give us a larger economy in future,” he said.

Asked whether pensions should be used to spur growth, and if so how, Burghart said he did not see pensions and growth as mutually exclusive. 

“It would be wonderful if we also had pensions that were benefiting UK PLC. Everyone will have seen the announcement we made on illiquids, and there are a number of things we could consider further in that space.

“When you talk to larger schemes who are diversified, they are eager to go further. They see the potential in infrastructure, in technology, in all of the things the government wants to drive forward to ensure we have a more productive economy in future.”

Burghart praised the record of previous pensions minister Guy Opperman, and pledged to continue work to develop the pensions dashboard and auto-enrolment, building on remarks made at another PLSA event earlier in October concerning pensions adequacy.

“The next chapter in that is helping people make choices about what they've got, helping people be more active customers within that space,” he said.

“We’ve really got an opportunity to capitalise on these two great innovations. I’ll very much be pushing that.”

Benjamin Mercer is senior reporter at Pensions Expert, FTAdviser's sister publication