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Tory shadow pension minister backs call for auto-enrolment before 2012

The Conservative shadow pension minister Nigel Waterson has backed the ABI’s call for auto-enrolment to existing pension schemes to be implemented before 2012.

Speaking at the Association of British Insurers conference on Tuesday, Conservative shadow pension minister Nigel Waterson said:

“I am personally quite taken with the idea of bringing in auto-enrolment in now instead of waiting until 2012.”

But economic secretary to the Treasury Ian Pearson ruled out the possibility of implementing auto enrolment any sooner than planned.

Also speaking at the ABI conference, shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Chris Grayling called for deregulation in the area of risk sharing in order to allow more innovation by scheme providers.

He said: “Deregulation would allow greater innovation in the pension industry, allows you flexibility to tailor a new generation of products that will work to rebuild our pension industry.

“The role of Government is to get out of the way, it is to regulate when it is necessary to do so to protect people’s interests.”

He said it was his role to put pressure on the Government to reign back pension regulation.

Grayling also said the Conservatives are looking at ways to permanently change restrictions that push people to annuitise by age 75.

He said: “In the long run I think the rule on age 75 has to change.”

He said the Conservatives were actively looking at options, one of which might be to ensure that people annuitise enough to guarantee their income above state benefits by a pre-determined age.

Grayling said the Conservatives would report back on the options in the first half of next year.

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