in Pension Funds Insider
Ian Neale discusses the challenges facing the latest Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman.
The latest MP to move into the hot seat of Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, is commencing a steep learning curve – like almost all his twelve predecessors since the post was created in 1998.
If we except Steve Webb, who served for five years, the average tenure of pensions ministers has been just fifteen months. Like Mr Opperman, most have had no background in pensions and little time to get to grips with their brief.
Mr Opperman's new boss on the other hand, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions David Gauke, has transferred from HM Treasury, where in seven years as a minister he must have had some exposure to pensions policy - particularly the controversial subject of tax relief.
Mr Gauke was a senior colleague of George Osborne when in July 2015 the Chancellor threw all the cards in the air with his Green Paper on pensions tax relief. Thankfully, the outcome of that exercise was 'no change for now' (although Mr Osborne clearly felt miffed at being told there were some difficulties in reversing the EET – exempt-exempt-taxed – principle). All we suffered was the distraction of LISA in the March 2016 Budget.
The Treasury's dream has not evaporated though. The fact that we have an apparently slightly more pragmatic Chancellor in Philip Hammond doesn't mean the departmental culture has changed. . . .
28 July 2017 Read the full article