House of Lords debate Pensions Bill

Jessica Nangle

January 30, 2020

The Pension Schemes Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Lords following a debate on Tuesday 28 January.

This passing comes despite questions over extent of government control.

As reported in the Professional Adviser, Liberal Democrat Lord Sharkey reportedly noted that the first part of the legislation contained 39 instances where Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey could make “delegated legislation”.

Despite this, the bill was largely welcomed by peers with Lord Hutton of Furness stating the bill reinforces the “existing safeguards protecting DB pension schemes”.

David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said: “The UK has an ageing population who are living longer into retirement.

“Therefore, a tool which enables people to better understand how to fund these years is increasingly necessary.

“Pension dashboards should include all accumulated assets, savings and investments together with pensions to allow people to have a holistic view of how to fund, and make more informed decisions, about their retirement.

“For example, housing wealth is often a home-owners largest asset exceeding the value of an average pension. 40p in every £1 of over-65-year olds’ wealth is being invested in property, while 51% of homeowners aged 45 years and over see their housing wealth as part of their later life financial plans, but property has not been included in current plans.

“The role of bricks and mortar in later life is changing.

“During the debate on the Pensions Scheme’s Bill, this view was reiterated by various peers who argued equity release is becoming an increasingly important part of retirement planning.

“Lord Young of Cookham and Lord Flight both advocated for the inclusion of housing wealth in the pensions dashboards to ensure they will be broad enough to be truly valuable to consumers.”

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