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Industry concern over Blunkett’s resignation

The Government must move quickly to find a replacement for David Blunkett as secretary of state for Work and Pensions in order to maintain industry confidence in pension reform.
Industry commentators are dismayed at the timing of Blunketts resignation, coming less than a month before the Pensions Commission is due to present its second and final report.
Scottish Life group head of communications Alasdair Buchanan says the timing of Blunketts resignation is incredible, especially given his appointment was a reflection of the fact that pensions reform is one of the biggest issues facing the Government. He cannot see any replacement being as a high calibre and experienced but would welcome the return of Alan Johnson who has since moved into the DTI.
3Q Solutions chief executive Ray Young stresses the Government must move quickly to maintain confidence in the pensions simplification process or the Government risks treading water on the issue.
Others are a little more sanguine. Winterthur pensions strategy manager Mike Morrison says reaction to the Pension Commission report will be more telling and he questions whether Blunkett spent enough time in the role to make any real impact.
Axa head of pensions & saving policy Steve Folkard says the industry will welcome whoever is brought in as a replacement in order to keep the momentum behind pensions reform going.
Buchanan says: Pensions is one of the biggest issues for Government to sort out and that is why someone of Blunketts seniority was appointed. For him to go in those circumstances and at this time is incredible. Who can they get in with the knowledge to deal with the Turner report?
Young says: Blunketts resignation could not have happened at a more critical moment. If any sort of impact is to be made on the pensions crisis, the Government has to pull its head out of the sand, take the reigns and guide the public to plan more effectively for the future.

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