New pensions minister has a full in tray and needs to hit the ground running, says RSM UK

16 November 2023

As the pensions sector welcomes the new pensions minister, Paul Maynard, RSM UK says that this is an opportunity to push forward with much of the long-promised changes in regulation, but with an eye on avoiding heaping too much short-term pressure on trustees. 

Ian Bell, head of pensions at RSM UK, said: ‘Whilst many trustees are looking at much improved funding due to market conditions, the frequent changes of ministers in recent years has not helped keep the ball rolling on much anticipated regulatory changes. Trustees have been in limbo on a number of issues that remain unresolved, including the General Code, pensions dashboards and funding regulations. We hope that next week’s Autumn Statement will help bring clarity on the Mansion House proposals, but the omission of a Pensions Bill from the recent King’s Speech leaves many questions unanswered. We would urge the new minister to help push these matters forward to bring clarity for trustees, but with an eye on implementation dates, to avoid placing too much pressure on them.’

Recent and imminent changes from various regulatory bodies include:

  • Clarity on Mansion House reforms
  • Preparations for the new Pensions Dashboard
  • Introduction of the delayed General Code of Practice
  • The defined benefit funding framework
  • TCFD (Taskforce on Climate-related Disclosures) and ESG (Environment, Social, Governance)
  • GMP (Guaranteed Minimum Pension) equalisation

Ian Bell continues: ‘With so much ongoing uncertainty on a range of measures, pension trustees have had a lot to cope with in recent years, and as a trustee myself, I can see the pressure they are under. Whilst funding levels may have generally improved, it’s clear that trustees need support from their new minister to provide clarity and move matters forward. The government and the industry need to take a joined-up approach to these issues and there needs to be consideration for the volume of additional work these changes will create for trustees.’

Ian Bell
Partner, head of pensions
Ian Bell
Partner, head of pensions