She said: “The Government and the Pensions Regulator deserve plaudits, in my view, for announcing bold emergency measures to address some of the potential negative impacts of the current crisis on pensions.”
The Government and the Pensions Regulator have announced a raft of measures to ensure pension contributions continue at least at minimum levels and riskier pension decision are put on hold.
Baroness Altmann, often a critic of some Government pensions policies, said: “The speed with which the latest measures were announced is a testament to the severity of the situation, but also reflects a welcome departure from past measures which have often taken far longer to introduce.
“The Government has been acting in record time on many fronts, trying to do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect people’s jobs and businesses during this unprecedented disruption to our way of life and economic activity. A range of measures has been introduced, which balance the needs of businesses and individuals in the short-term, with the aims of pension provision over the long-term.”
Among the measures are:
• Auto-enrolment contributions protected at the legal minimum level for furloughed workers in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
• DB transfers put on hold for three months
• Trustees can agree to allow employers to halt Deficit Repair Contributions for three months
• 10% Pension Scheme levy increase put on hold
She said: “Rapid actions will help stabilise the system during this emergency: This package of emergency measures is designed to help pension schemes survive through the crisis, while also helping to protect members’ pensions for the longer term and offset the increased scam risks.
"Some employers and schemes will inevitably fail and we do not yet know how long this situation will last, but it is good to see pensions have not been overlooked in the ongoing turmoil.”