Former NAPF chair to head private pensions review

UK – Former National Association of Pension Funds’ (NAPF) chairman, Alan Pickering, has been nominated by the government to head its comprehensive review of private pensions legislation with a mandate to draft a package of proposals designed to simplify the law.

Alistair Darling, secretary of state for work and pensions, says the government is determined to simplify the Pensions Policy system and make it easier to understand and reduce costs.
“Alan Pickering will bring an independent but realistic approach to the task,” he adds.

The review is part of the department of work and pension’s (DWP) service delivery agreement to work with the inland revenue and pensions industry towards a simplified pensions regulatory framework.
The DWP aims to have a methodology for identifying and implementing further simplification measures in place this year.

Areas the review will look at include:
* Reduction of compliance costs
* Ensuring that the law is proportionate to the policy purpose
* The principles behind existing legislation
* The way the regulatory framework is currently enforced
* The way simplification can be achieved by secondary legislation
* Ensuring that any simplification to the regulatory framework doesn’t compromise the security of any individual’s investments.

In addition, the review will look at maintaining effective protection for pension scheme members and the wider economic implications of simplification.
It will also assess the impact that simplification will have on taxes, as well as its impact on the implementation of the Myners’ review recommendations and minimum finding requirement reforms.

Pickering has been a partner at consultancy firm Watson Wyatt since 1992 and became chairman of the NAPF in 1999. He was also a member of the Occupational Pensions Board from 1991-1997. His term of office at the NAPF ended this year.

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