It now seems unlikely that parliament will complete reading the Pensions Bill. The Bill introduces compulsion on employers to provide data to a pensions dashboard and it gives CDC the green light, at first for the Royal Mail and later for all of us.
The politics are simple, the Bill had only got as far as a second reading in the House of Lords and is not thought suffeciently advanced to be included in the “wash up” and passed through on the nod. Parliament will rise next week so that we can have a general election on December 12th.
More bumps in the road for the Pension Schemes Bill with a general election likely in Dec.
When Parliament is dissolved, all unfinished parliamentary business falls, inc any bills that haven’t received Royal Assent.
The Bill was due to have its 2nd reading in the Lords tomrw.
— Josephine Cumbo (@JosephineCumbo) October 29, 2019
I am sure there are two questions on your lips as you read these dread paragraphs…
- Will we get the Bill back again?
- Will it include the same stuff?
My guess is “yes” and “yes” and possibly there may be more stuff in the Pensions Bill, like the legislation to make DB super funds easier. This stuff was dropped to make sure that the Pensions Bill had a quick passage through parliament – ho ho. So what of the major players; Guy Opperman looks to continue with a majority of over 9,000 in his Hexham constituency. Here’s what he’s up against.
Hexham Constituency Labour Party select local candidate https://t.co/p0EmIwujnf
— Pension Plowman (@henryhtapper) October 29, 2019
The Pensions Bill is Opperman’s Bill and I remember him telling me he felt that “bigger forces” might yet dash its progress. I very much hope he gets the chance to reintroduce it in another parliament for he has proved good to his word, a pensions minister who wants to be a pensions minister. If we are to have a coalition in 2020, Opperman deserves to keep the job – and his position should be returned to its former status.
The Royal Mail can sleep reasonably easy as it’s hard to see any party wanting to take on 140,000 postal workers due to worries about intergenerational unfairness.
Likewise, the Pensions Dashboard is an uncontentious piece of legislation. It will do the nation’s pension savers good in a lot of ways. If there are villains, they are the enemies of change who would rather our data dirty and obscure. Few would worry if the odd Pension Administrator were found out for not being able to supply data in a timely manner.
I cannot see either Liberals, Conservatives, Labour, SNP or a combination of the above denying the nation the Pensions Bill it has craved so long – ho ho.
As for the forthcoming election, I take my cue from the FT
It is hard to recall a more dispiriting choice of leadership between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. But this election will be unusually open and hard to predict. In some parts of the country it may become a four way contest between the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit party. Voters deserve an honest campaign that sets out the true choices facing Britain.
As with most things that require the public sector’s involvement, the pensions dashboard is subject to the rules of the game, a game we are required to play, even though it means yet another delay in the implementation of genuine change.