The absence of pensions from the King’s Speech surprised many – shifting attention to the upcoming Autumn Statement by the Chancellor.
Predictions of King Charles addressing plans to boost private equity investment through pensions were unmet. The expected mention of the “Mansion House” reform package, covering agreements on pension scheme investments and flexibility for defined benefit schemes, was notably absent. Becky O’Connor, director of public affairs at PensionBee, said:
“The omission of the pension reform bill in today’s King’s Speech implies that c chancellor Hunt’s Mansion House proposals might set the direction of travel, but lack a substantial commitment to how these changes will be made in reality.
Following the upcoming general election, the incoming government will encounter a myriad of crucial decisions, where neglecting attention to pensions poses the danger of leaving pivotal reform issues unaddressed, perpetuating a stage of limbo in pension policies.”
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said:
“We’re disappointed that the government didn’t include a pensions bill in today’s King’s Speech. This is likely to be the last parliamentary session before the general election, and the current government has been consulting on a long list of initiatives.
In the absence of a pensions bill, other routes will need to be found to advance these.”
The anticipated focus on workplace pension reforms, aiming for increased scale and greater private equity investment, was also overlooked. The government’s argument for this approach revolves around potential long-term benefits for savers and the UK economy. Cameron continued:
“All eyes will now be on the chancellor’s Autumn Statement. In July, the chancellor set out his ambitions for defined contribution pension schemes to increase their investment in private equity, with a view to boosting the UK economy. The government has been consulting on a raft of ideas to encourage such investment.
The initiatives include a new value for money framework for defined contribution pensions which will shift the focus away from minimising costs to maximising value for members, including through seeking out new investment opportunities.”