Happy New Year to everyone across Stockport! Often at the beginning of a new year, we look to make resolutions and think about what we want to achieve in the year ahead, and it is usually in the early months that we decide to get a handle on ‘life admin’ that can build up and become neglected.
An important task that many of us don’t pay enough attention to is keeping track of our pensions and this can lead to us missing out on a vital source of income when we reach retirement age.
With rates of employment reaching record levels in recent years, totalling 75.6% in September to November 2022, more and more people are reaping the benefits of work, and with the introduction of auto-enrolment, millions more people are also saving for retirement.
However, we often forget about another key benefit that work brings which is the ability to pay into a workplace pension scheme. This allows us to pay directly into our pension pot and see our contributions matched by the employer, meaning a sizeable amount will have accrued upon reaching retirement age.
There are roughly 1.6 million pension pots worth £19 billion “lost” by UK workers, and so I am very pleased to see that the Government have delivered on their manifesto commitment to deliver pension dashboards allowing individuals to see their pensions information, including the State Pension, in one place online at the touch of their laptop, smartphone or tablet.
With a new system comes new regulations to be followed, and it is vital that we do all we can to protect people’s hard-earned savings from unscrupulous pension scheme trustees and managers.
That is why I introduced the Pension Dashboards (Prohibition of Indemnification) Bill to Parliament. Once passed and given Royal Assent, it will prevent trustees or managers of pension funds from using the assets of a pension scheme to reimburse themselves when they have to pay fines incurred for breaching pensions dashboards legislation.
I am delighted to say that the Government has decided to support my Bill and it cleared its stages in the House of Commons last week. I look forward to continuing to work with the Government to secure its passage through the House of Lords and see these vital changes become law.