The policy board for the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has identified six priority policy issues for 2021 as several new members join, following a comprehensive selection process.

While the PLSA expects to work on around 40 or 50 policy issues this year, the following have been classified as top priority:

  • DC decumulation – the PLSA has proposed that a new regulatory regime be established that would require pension schemes to support their members when making decisions about how to access their defined contribution (DC) savings;
  • Investment and stewardship – to promote high standards of investment governance and stewardship and help make it easier for pension schemes to invest in a climate-aware way
  • Pensions tax relief – to set out the key principles for any reform of pension taxation to help ensure more people achieve a better income in retirement;
  • Small pots – working with others in industry and government to develop a solution to the small pots problem that is in the interest of savers;
  • Pension dashboards – to ensure savers have the highest protections against pension scams and mis-selling, the new dashboard materially helps savers understand the value of all their pensions, and provide support to pension schemes in preparing for dashboards;
  • DB funding – to advocate for a defined benefit (DB) funding regime that allows sufficient flexibility for open DB schemes, sets achievable goals for closed DB schemes, and adopts a suitable regime for multiemployer DB schemes.

Nigel Peaple, director of policy and advocacy at the PLSA, said: “At our first meeting in January, [the] policy board identified some key priorities for our work, based on the challenges for UK pension provision and the current policy context. 2021 is going to be a busy year, as we seek to land the right approach to DC decumulation and DB funding; to play our part in the run up to COP 26 on climate change and respond to government’s expected action on pensions tax relief to address the state of the public finances.”

In addition, the policy board has seen six new appointments: RPMI’s John Chilman, HSBC Pension Trust’s Lisa Young-Harry, Aon’s Paul McGlone, Phil Brown from The People’s Pension, Sarah Luheshi from the Pensions Policy Institute and JP Morgan Asset Management’s Sorca Kelly-Scholte.

Formed in 2018, the PLSA policy board guides and decides on the association’s public policy positions, with a remit stretching across all PLSA policy work on pensions and lifetime savings. Its goal is to shape the policy agenda for all aspects of retirement income.

It is chaired by Emma Douglas, head of DC at Legal & General Investment Management, and holds 18 members from across the PLSA’s membership; in particular pension funds from the DB, DC, local government pension scheme (LGPS), and master trust sectors, as well as business members such as employee benefits consultants and law firms.

Douglas said: “We have assembled a diverse group of thought-leaders and experts from across the PLSA’s membership to shape the pensions and savings landscape for the benefit of both schemes and savers.”

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