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UK clears way for more pensions legislation

UK – The government has left the door open to enacting more pensions legislation if it needs to after the Turner Commission report later this year.

The government mentioned reform of retirement income in the Queen’s speech today, which sets out the legislative agenda for the new parliament.

“My government will begin long-term reform to provide sustainable income for those in retirement,” Queen Elizabeth told the State Opening of Parliament.

A spokeswoman at the Department for Work and Pensions said the phrase was included in the speech to leave the way open for the government to bring in legislation “should it be necessary” after Adair Turner’s Pension Commission report, which is due in November.

And the spokeswoman added it showed that the government was working on a consensus to solve the pensions issue.

“We need reform and most of that will be reached by legislation,” said Robin Ellison, chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds, a critic of the volume of pensions rules.

But he warned against “quick and decisive” legislation, as has happened in the past. “I’d be surprised if there were more urgent legislation,” he told IPE. He agreed with the need to build consensus – as called for by new pensions minister David Blunkett last week. “We pretty much know what the good things are,” Ellison said. TV

He said the NAPF’s job was to explore the fiscal side of pensions – adding that there is a “misunderstanding” at the Treasury about tax and pensions.

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