In the UK, the National Association of Pension Funds has called for an independent standing commission on pensions.
“A new, independent Standing Commission on Pensions should be appointed to advise ministers on the way forward for UK pensions,” the NAPF says. The body would take its cue from the Bank of England, which has been independent since 1997.
The new commission would be required to report to the government every three years on the impact of economic, demographic and social changes on Britain’s
pensions system, and to advise
ministers on the measures necessary to maintain the UK pension
system in the long term.
"The call for an independent commission makes sense,’’ says Richard Jones, a principal at consultants Punter Southall. “Pensions are such a long-term issue that you don’t want it being used as a political football with the government trying to increase the role of the state and the Tories trying to reduce the role of the state.”
The NAPF has published a draft constitution and terms of reference for such a body. NAPF chief executive Christine Farnish says: “For years, successive governments have introduced new pension rules with the best of intentions, but not with the best of results.
“One of the reasons our pensions system is in such poor health is that decisions have too often been taken without the benefit of independent advice aimed at ensuring long-term continuity and sustainability.
“An independent Pensions Standing Commission would provide such advice, based on the depth of understanding and knowledge of its members,” she says.