Pension schemes are set to be overhauled in the coming months as a new bill on pensions makes its way through government. Today, the pension schemes bill reached the report stage in the House of Commons, meaning it is reaching its final stages of parliamentary review.
The bill has faced many debates and amendments in recent weeks and today, PensionBee commented on some of these amendments.
As Clare Reilly, the Head of Corporate Development at PensionBee, detailed: “PensionBee greatly welcomes the final amendments relating to climate, charge data and dashboard transactions that are being proposed at the report stage of the Pension Schemes Bill.
“We agree that pension schemes have a duty to help tackle climate change; just this week we opened exclusive access to our new Fossil Fuel Free plan for all PensionBee customers.
“This plan excludes companies with reserves of oil, gas or coal and invests more in businesses that are aligned with the Paris Treaty giving savers a clear and easy way to exclude all fossil fuels from their pensions. We created this plan in direct response to customer feedback and a growing desire from savers to use their pension to tackle climate change.
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“We wholeheartedly support amendments relating to clauses 119 and 121 that put the interests and protection of consumers first.
“Currently savers have no way of seeing their scheme costs or charges in standardised digital or paper format.
“The industry has lobbied against their inclusion for many years, convincing the Government that charges are too complex for savers to understand and should be excluded from annual statements and the dashboard.
“It is crucial that costs and charges are included on the dashboard. Indeed our own survey data shows that 95 percent of drawdown age savers want to see charges on the dashboard.”
Should the Bill pass through the final stages of a “third reading” and “consideration of amendments”, workers and pension managers could see their assets dramatically altered.
To ease people into this possible change, the DWP and other public bodies have tried to introduce “stronger nudge” measures which push people to seek advice from Pension Wise before taking action on their pensions.
The DWP detailed their efforts had shown promising results on this but this was rebutted recently by Neil Gray, the Scottish National Party MP for Airdrie and Shotts and Stephen Timms, the Work and Pensions Committee chair.
Mr Timms has made amendments to the bill to make Pension Wise reviews mandatory and it remains to be seen if this will be accepted.