Work and Pensions Committee report progress with auto enrolment and pension reforms

17 March 2015

The Work and Pensions Committee has published their fourth report 'Progress with automatic enrolment and pension reforms' which recommends that an individual regulator is required to ensure employees are protected from fraudulent activity about how to use their pension pots when changes come into force in April 2015.

Pension regulation is currently a shared responsibility between the Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority and the latter is not solely focused on pensions.

The committee also proposes that the minimum age for people to access their pension pots should rise from 55 to 60. Dame Anne Begg, the committee’s chairman said:

“Given the significant tax relief for pensions, increased longevity and importance of ensuring people do not underestimate the income needed in retirement, the age should be changed to five years before state pension age, except where there are ill-health grounds.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented on the report saying that with new pension freedoms starting in less than a month we cannot afford to let savers get stung by excessive charges. The government must seriously consider the proposal from Which? for the urgent introduction of a drawdown charge cap. O’Grady also said that it is welcomed that the Committee adds its voice to calls for a new pensions commission to bring back long-term thinking and consensus-building to pensions policy-making. The Committee sets out a useful to-do list for the next pensions minister, including the vital tasks of bringing more low earners into pensions auto-enrolment and increasing pension contributions.