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Richard Harrington replaces Altmann as pensions minister


Watford MP Richard Harrington has been appointed as a replacement for pensions minister Ros Altmann.

His official title is parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions.

However, a DWP spokesman confirms he will be known as the pensions minister. It is not yet clear whether his brief will differ from Altmann’s.

The spokesman says: “Pensions remain a key priority for the Government and the important work to bring in the new state pension, roll-out automatic enrolment and safeguard the pension freedoms will continue under our new minister for pensions.”

An MP since 2010, Harrington was a member of the international development committee, general secretary of the all party Kashmir group and vice chairman of the all party film group.

Altmann is warning the move appears to downgrade the role of pensions minister.

Last week, Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt was appointed minister of state for the DWP. It is believed she will be responsible for disability policy.

Altmann left her post at the weekend, however it is unclear whether she was sacked or resigned.

Her role was complicated because as a member of the House of Lords she could not sit in the Commons.

In a letter to the Prime Minister she said: “I am at heart a policy expert, rather than a politician.”

She also set out a series of priorities for her successor to tackle as the UK enters “uncharted waters”.

These include an overhaul of pensions tax relief, though not a move to the TEE model, a major review of the defined benefit system, and “fair treatment for women” affected by changes to the state pension age.


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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. To: Richard Harrington
    Some thoughts from the coal face in the ‘real’ pensions world now that George does not have to scramble around looking for tax savings to complete his silly ‘no deficit’ statement: –
    A) Scrap the LTA, it is a tax on Growth
    B) Scrap the ‘Protected Tax Free Cash’ restriction. (This gains peanuts for HMRC and causes considerable pain and annoyance for the few affected pension members.)
    C) Align the age 75 pension restrictions/penalties with the movements in the SPA to 68.
    D) Legislate against the pension management consolidators so that they cannot invoke MVR’s of 30%+ on members aged say 57+ in order to enable them to access pension freedoms.
    E) Raise the contribution relief from 20%/40%/45% of gross to a flat rate of 30% which will then encourage BRT payers to contribute to pensions, will hardly affect the ART payers(£150,000+ Tiered max £10,000 pension contribution) and the HRT payers will still get approx 42.85% of net in tax relief. e.g. £28,000 Net personal contribution = £39,998 Gross contribution.
    F) Introduce Financial / Pension Education into the school curriculum, with funding points for schools who have student that achieve Diploma qualifications.
    G) Leave pensions alone for at least 10 years in order for the education of the masses to take place and for them to understand that contributing to Pensions early in their life / career will enable them to have the chance of a comfortable retirement up to their death at age 150.

  2. Hello
    My son Stephen clark passed away last October, since then I have been trying to recoup some of the money that Stephen had paid into some pension plans he had with previous employer’s.
    None of these were vast amounts, I am contacting you because I would like you to know how difficult these companies seem to be making it for me to claim this money, to help pay for his funeral. These companies include nest and aegon, it seems to be the same old story, their happy to take your money but do anything not to pay it back. I would like to know your thoughts on the matter

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