From the TUC

Good pensions policy from Lib Dem Spring conference

15 Mar 2012, by in Pensions & Investment

All media attention (and I admit mine) were on the NHS debate at last weekend’s Liberal Democrat  spring conference. But they also adopted a rather good resolution on pensions, moved by Janice Turner – a leading light in the Association of Member Nominated Trustees and a trustee of a union pension scheme.

Professional Pensions described the debate:

Liberal Democrats, including pensions minister Steve Webb, have backed a wide-ranging pensions reform package put forward by experienced member-nominated trustee Janice Turner at its Spring Conference.

Delegates overwhelming backed Turner’s policy motion which pushed for Lib Dems in government to act more decisively to protect defined benefit schemes and rethink defined contribution pensions in the private sector.

The motion is also critical of excess charges, and Steve Webb spoke in favour of the proposals and applauded Turner for raising the issue of pensions for debate.

Turner said the current DC scheme market was killing consumer confidence in pensions.

“What ordinary working people want is to pay their money and have a reasonable idea of what they’ll get when they retire. They don’t want 50 investment choices. They want a pension they can trust.”

She welcomed Webb’s announcement of his determination to introduce a “defined aspiration” scheme

The motion backed the call by the Association of Member Nominated Trustees for minimum levels of paid time off for training and preparation.

There is much here very much in line with union thinking on pensions. As the key to any sustainable reform is winning wide consensus support, this is good to see.

Rumour has it that Labour is shortly to produce some policy too – and with Conservative support for today’s Select Committee report it’s possible to see some scope for progress towards better DC.