Pension Schemes Bill receives Royal Assent

The Pension Schemes Bill that enables the introduction of the government’s pension reforms has received Royal Assent.


It is the final piece of legislation bringing into force the upcoming pension flexibilities on 6 April 2015.

Together with the Taxation of Pensions Act, which became law in December 2014, it introduces a number of aspects of the reforms including the guidance guarantee.

The bill makes it an offence to claim to be giving guidance under the Pension Wise service.

It also enables the creation of defined ambition risk-sharing schemes.

Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said: “The passing of this act marks the culmination of a five-year pensions revolution under this coalition government.

“While, for years, successive governments simply watched the slow decline of the final salary scheme, we have responded by giving firms new ways of providing their staff with secure pensions.

“There is a real appetite from employers to offer high-quality pensions for their staff and the new Defined Ambition pensions made possible by this act will enable a new generation of better, fairer schemes.

“The act also protects the new pension freedoms and flexibilities, so people have control of their pension pots, and know it is a criminal offence for scammers to pretend to offer official Pension Wise guidance.” 

Joanne Segars, chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds, added: “Royal Assent of the Pension Schemes Bill is very welcome as pension schemes can now get on with the important task of implementing the government’s pension freedoms reforms.

“But with only 23 working days to go before the reforms go live, and schemes working flat out to implement the reforms in time, government should waste no time in providing the missing pieces of the puzzle.

“These reforms have the potential to bring real benefits to savers, but there is still uncertainty among the public about what they should do to make the most of the opportunities.

“It is vital government ensures all communications to savers are realistic, so they can make solid plans for retirement and avoid disappointment.”

Steve Webb will be speaking at Employee Benefits Connect on 4 March.