09 Dec 2019

With all the main parties having issued their election manifestos, what election promises have been made in respect of workplace pension schemes? The Conservative manifesto has said that it will reintroduce the Pension Schemes Bill to Parliament. To recap, before it fell with the dissolution of Parliament, the Bill was viewed as a major piece of pensions legislation with provisions that included strengthening the powers of the Pension Regulator, new requirements in respect of pension scheme funding, the introduction of a pensions dashboard and a new type of benefit provision (collective money purchase schemes) of the sort being proposed by Royal Mail.

These changes, aimed at improving the lot of the pension scheme member and the security of pension funds, had all party support so it is likely that the Bill will re-emerge regardless of which party wins the election. It may be that a new government will even expand the Bill to include provisions that we understand were omitted from the original version due to time constraints, such as a framework for consolidating defined benefit schemes.

It also worth noting some of the wider pensions promises being made. Labour and the SNP, for example, propose to establish an independent pensions commission. Regarding state pensions, all the main parties commit to the retention of the triple lock for calculating pension increases but Labour and the SNP state that they will also freeze future rises to state pension age. All the main opposition parties propose to support WASPI women whose state pension age has been increased from 60 to, ultimately, 68.

So although pensions have not received much coverage during the election, we can expect a lot of activity after the election irrespective of which party forms a government.