Pensions minister Steve Webb has ruled out creating a single pensions regulator despite growing concern that the existing system is not fit for purpose.
Regulation of pensions is currently split between the Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates contract-based schemes, and The Pensions Regulator, which is responsible for regulating all workplace pensions including trust-based DC schemes.
Last month, the influential Work and Pensions select committee published a report warning that persisting with the current framework could lead to “gaps” in regulation, potentially putting members’ savings at risk.
Earlier this week, Labour shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont said the party is examining whether a single pensions regulator should be established as part of its policy review.
However, in an interview with Money Marketing, Webb says the Government is reluctant to undertake further significant regulatory change following the introduction of the new “twin peaks” regime in April.
He says: “Clearly we will be considering our response to the select committee. But having literally just reformed the FSA and in the middle of automatic enrolment, more regulatory upheaval doesn’t feel like a priority.
“In the medium-term we will of course keep the regulatory structure under review but this is not the time to be throwing it all up in the air yet again.”
Webb says the Government is, however, considering legislative changes to tackle the growing problem of pensions liberation.
He says: “We are looking at whether the current legislative framework gets us to where we want to be on pensions liberation. It is very much on our agenda at the moment.
“I am also looking at the role of trustees and whether we are giving them enough backing if they think something fishy is going on.”