Queen’s Speech: Pensions Bill 2016

Today’s Queen’s Speech has announced the introduction of a new Pensions Bill:

  • to provide essential protections for people in master trusts;
  • to remove barriers for consumers who want to access their pension savings flexibly; and
  • to restructure the delivery of financial guidance to consumers.

The steps announced to achieve these aims are as follows:

Master trusts

  • Master trusts will have to demonstrate that they meet strict new criteria before entering the market and taking money from employers or members.
  • There will be greater powers for the Pensions Regulator to authorise and supervise master trusts and take action when necessary.

Cap on early exit charges

  • There will be a cap on early exit fees charged by trust-based occupational pension schemes.
  • A system will be created that enables consumers to access pension freedoms without unreasonable barriers.

Restructuring financial guidance

  • A new pensions guidance body will be created, bring together the Pensions Advisory Service, Pension Wise and the pensions services offered by the Money Advice Service, providing access to a straightforward private pensions guidance service for customers.
  • A new money guidance body will replace the Money Advice Service and be charged with identifying gaps in the financial guidance market to make sure consumers can access high quality debt and money guidance.
Please do not hesitate to speak with your usual Linklaters pensions contact if you would like to discuss these or any related pensions issues.