Monday, May 29, 2017

Pensions - Conservatives have protected pensions and will continue to.


The Conservative-led coalition government introduced the "Triple lock" on pensions in 2010. As a result,

The state pension has increased by more than £1,250 in the last seven years.

A decade ago, poverty blighted the retirement of many older people. That’s why we introduced the Triple Lock – where the State Pension rises by whichever is highest of earnings, inflation, or 2.5 per cent.

That has worked – increasing the full basic state pension by over £1,250 in cash terms and reducing pensioner poverty to historically low levels. This also represents a significant increase in real terms in the state pension.

The Conservatives will keep the "Triple Lock" until 2020 in line with the 2015 manifesto.

After that there will be a "Double Lock" so that the state pension will increase in line with inflation or average earnings, whichever is higher.

We will also take action to ensure that workers cannot lose out because their employers mismanage their pension schemes.

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans to protect the pensions of workers against irresponsible behaviour by company bosses.

In recent years, the employees of large, household-name companies have found their pensions put at risk by the irresponsible behaviour of bosses like Robert Maxwell. But responsible companies managing their pension scheme in the right way have found their competitive position suffer from that same behaviour.

This is bad for both workers and the market as a whole, and that’s why we will act. A Conservative Government led by Theresa May will give the Pensions Regulator the power to scrutinise takeovers and unsustainable dividend payments that threaten the solvency of a company pension scheme.
Under our plans, any company pursuing a merger or acquisition valued over a certain amount or with over a certain number of members in the pension scheme would have to notify the Pensions Regulator, who could then apply certain conditions.

In cases where there is no credible plan in place and no willingness to ensure the solvency of the scheme, the Pensions Regulator could be given new powers to block a takeover. This would include the power to issue punitive fines for those found to have willfully left a scheme under-resourced.

If fines proved insufficient, the company directors in question could be struck off for a period of time and a new offence could be introduced to make it a criminal act for a company board to intentionally or recklessly put at risk the ability of a pension scheme to meet its obligations.

In short we will tighten the rules on pensions during takeovers, and increase punishments for those caught mismanaging schemes.

This is all part of how Theresa May and the Conservatives plan to build a stronger economy and deliver a more secure future for families across the country.

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