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Labour examines single pensions regulator proposal in policy review

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Labour is examining whether a single pensions regulator is needed to lower charges and boost governance in occupational schemes as part of its policy review.

The future of pensions regulation has been under close scrutiny in recent months. In February, the work and pensions select committee called on the Government to hand regulatory power to a sole body.

Labour shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont has published a paper for left wing think-tank the Fabian’s Society setting out a series of reforms the party will pursue if elected to Government.

In the document McClymont says the existing pensions regulatory system is “not fit for purpose”.

He says: “The UK’s regulatory system for occupational pensions, as far as defined contribution schemes are concerned, is not fit for purpose.

“There are two options for improving organisational effectiveness: either requiring enhanced co-operation between the existing bodies responsible for regulation or concentrating power in the hands of a single pensions regulator. 

“The UK’s current regulatory system for pensions does not adequately promote low charges, scale or effective governance for pensions. Labour’s policy review is examining how best it can be improved.”

The paper also sets out a number of previously announced Labour pension priorities including improving the transparency of costs and charges, encouraging the development of large-scale pension schemes and installing independent trustees for contract-based schemes.

Hargreaves Lansdown pension investment manager Laith Khalaf says: “Regulation between The Pensions Regulation and the FCA is disjointed so it would make sense for the Government to examine merging the two.”

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