Pensioners in Devon and across the country are set to be better protected as the Pension Schemes Bill received Royal Assent last week. In the biggest shake-up of UK pensions in decades, the bill will strengthen protections for pension savers by extending the powers of the Pensions Regulator, introducing the power to issue civil penalties of up to £1 million. Three criminal sentences have also been created, including one with a maximum penalty of seven years in prison for bosses who run pension schemes into the ground, or plunder pots to line their own pockets.
The introduction of pensions dashboards will hail a digital revolution for savers, creating one single platform to more easily access and review pension pots. Savers will be able to see how much they can expect each month in retirement and find out how they can improve their retirement prospects. The Act also ensures pensions play their part in our transition to a net zero future through climate risk reporting, and changes to requirements around pension scheme funding to improve financial sustainability.
Welcoming the bill, Central Devon MP Mel Stride who chairs the influential House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, said:
“It is only right that where employers are especially unscrupulous and destroy the pension provision of others they should face the prospect of prison.”
With the Treasury Select Committee holding a major review into the decarbonisation of our economy, Mr Stride also welcomed the shift towards greener finance, adding:
“In our effort to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 the Government must ensure that every part of our economy is helping and not hindering our chances of meeting this goal. This includes a shift towards financial investments that support environmentally sustainable projects and developments.”