UK - The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown has disappointed industry-watchers for providing no new incentives for pension provision in his pre-budget report.
Brown told Parliament in a speech on Wednesday that the tax-free lump sum payment to retirees would remain and that existing tax reliefs for pension contributions will also remain. He added that the long-awaited Green Paper would include proposals to simplify the tax treatment on pensions.
But he was not seen as doing enough.
Paul Greenwood, research actuary at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, said: "At a time when pensions are in turmoil, no adverse action by the government is the least we could hope for, but retaining the status quo is not going to be enough to provide people with the incentive to save for retirement."
He added: "We would like to see the government go much further in its proposals, and take positive action to reform the pensions system.”
Greenwood said that the Green Paper would be “the real measure” of how seriously the government is taking the issue.
The National Association of Pension Funds had a similar reaction. “We are disappointed that the Chancellor showed no indication of boosting tax incentives for occupational pension contributions either for employers or employees,” said NAPF chairman Peter Thompson.
He added: “I hope that the delay in the Green Paper means that the Government is seriously considering some of the issues facing UK pensions at the present time.”