Pensions minister Steve Webb is facing calls to put the brakes on his reform programme as the industry struggles to cope with an avalanche of announcements.
This year, Department for Work and Pensions policymakers have proposed a slew of changes as well as independent reviews of public sector pensions and automatic enrolment.
Aegon pensions development manager Kate Smith says the industry will struggle to cope with the range of changes. She says: “The reform announcements are all happening at the same time, which means there is a lack of resources to actually implement the changes. The pace of reform is too fast and they want a lot of changes to be implemented very quickly which risks putting strain on the industry.”
But Legal & General pensions strategy director Adrian Boulding believes the pace of change is “exhilarating”. He says: “When stakeholder was brought in and, despite the fact it was a manifesto commitment, it took four years and four reviews to get it implemented. New Labour came to power on a colossal majority, so were confident they would be in for at least two terms. Today, we have a coalition Government and while they are hoping it will last five years, they are all aware coalitions are potentially unstable.”