UK – Substantial volumes of legislation will need to disappear if the simplification of UK pension schemes, currently under review by Alan Pickering for the UK government Department of Work and Pensions, is to be in any way successful, warns the Society of Pension Consultants (SPC).

The warning comes as the SPC submits its initial submission to Pickering’s review and suggests that it will not be enough to simply revise or re-express legislation without substantial changes or to try and convert it into pensions guidance.

The SPC believes that existing legislation needs to be “pruned back” to become a set of essential principles and that peripheral improvement could actually be worse than no change at all, since it could involve pension schemes having to shell out more money on costs, albeit for “trivial advantage”.

In terms of employer sponsored retirement provision, the SPC says that simplification must go far enough so that employers are willing to be scheme sponsors. Employers need to view sponsoring pensions as part of an attractive benefits package that employees both understand and appreciate.

The SPC is the representative body for consultants and advisers who are active in the pension fund consultancy business.