Pensions minister welcomes review

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Minister for pensions reform Mike O'Brien has welcomed an independent review of legislation which will examine how workplace pension provisions could be encouraged by easing the regulatory pressures currently placed on employers.

The Deregulatory Review report recommended making changes to legislation that will make it easier for employers to get back surplus funds in their own pension schemes, as part of a move towards less prescriptive legislation and simpler rules on what schemes must provide members.

Commenting on the report, the minister said: "We want to lighten regulation and when doing so will be mindful that it is important that we strike a balance between protecting members' benefits and encouraging employer provision of pensions.

"I am pleased that the focus of their report is to find ways to encourage sustainable pension provision for employees in the future - not only via 'traditional' defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes, but also through innovative approaches where both employers and employees share the risks inherent in pension provision."

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) also welcomed the review, commending its emphasis on a "principles-based regulatory regime" for private pensions. Maggie Craig, ABI director of life and savings, said that such an approach would be in the best interests of scheme members, employers and product providers.

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