UK – The Department for Work and Pensions has not ruled out the possibility of establishing a more permanent pensions review body following the closure of the independent Pensions Commission.
The DWP told IPE: “At this stage we are ruling nothing in and nothing out” in terms of establishing a more permanent pensions commission body in the future.
“We will be presenting our response in a white paper in the spring,” said the spokesperson.
Adair Turner’s Pensions Commission – tasked with reviewing UK private pensions and long-term savings - will close down around Easter time, a Commission spokesperson said.
The Commission, which produced its pensions report at the end of November, will continue to operate formally until the end of March “to explain our recommendations and engage in debates on pension issues,” said the spokesperson.
It will also produce a final slim sign-off document on its final thoughts, recommendations and arguments regarding the pensions debate before it closes its doors for good.
The spokesperson stated that the Commission had been established as a temporary advisory group, despite claims in November last year by pensions reform minister Stephen Timms that it could propose it becomes a more permanent feature.
The spokesperson added that the Commission endorses the establishment of a similar body to look at pension issues on a permanent basis.
The Commission was set up under the 2002 Pensions Green Paper, and consists of three commissioners – Turner, Jeannie Drake and Professor John Hills - and a small secretariat.
Turner, who is chairman of the Commission, will continue in his current role as vice chair of Merrill Lynch Europe.
The Commission report proposed the introduction of a funded national pension scheme with individual accounts, modeled in part on the Swedish PPM system. It also proposed increasing the state pension age.
In a statement, the DWP said: “We recognize the need for action to ensure pension systems deliver decent income to retired people in the future.
“We welcomed the Turner Commission report, and view it as the right framework for the next stage of the national pensions debate.”