Guy Opperman, the UK pensions minister, announced his return to the post one day after he had resigned – along with another 50+ ministers and cabinet members in retaliation for Prime Minister Boris Johnson remaining in power.
Later that day Johnson announced outside 10 Downing Street that it was “clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and so a new prime minister.” He said he would remain in place until a new leader is selected by the Conservative Party.
In a Twitter post, Opperman said he had “agreed to help DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] navigate the next few weeks, while we decide the appointment of a new Prime Minister”.
He added that a lot had been achieved so far this year for the next few months –including the continued expansion and take up of pension credit, worth £3,300 on average – but added that there was an extensive list of actions still to be tackled.
“Urgent work on dashboard, superfunds, defined benefit issues, an outstanding ESG consultation, ongoing correction exercises, and three or four pending Private Members Bills means that when the Chief Whip asked me to help until the new PM was chosen I agreed,” he said.
Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said: “Barely a day out of office and Guy Opperman is back as pensions minister. This is good news for pensions with the minister given more time to finish at least some of what he started, giving much needed continuity rather than disruption.”
She added: “Opperman’s resignation had rung alarms bells with the pension industry as it could have put the pension dashboard progress in peril.”