Ros Altmann: The New Pensions Minister
The election took most people by surprise, not least Baroness Ros Altmann who was swiftly invited to the post of Pensions Minister.
Baroness Altmann is a well-known figure in the pension community and the industry broadly applauded the appointment. It is good to see someone with direct pensions experience given responsibility for our ever- more-complex pensions system.
It is also encouraging to note that Baroness Altmann agrees with our criticism of certain aspects of our pension system.
For instance, as recently as March, Baroness Altmann was calling for the Lifetime Allowance to be scrapped on defined contribution (i.e. money purchase) pensions.
We agree that it makes little sense to put a limit on pension contributions (the Annual Allowance) AND the amount that can be built up in a pension over a lifetime (the Lifetime Allowance).
It will be interesting to see whether Mrs Altmann can push through such a change. It could be politically sensitive – it is, after all, only two months since George Osborne last cut the Lifetime Allowance.
Also high up the agenda will be the Tory manifesto promise to cut tax relief on pension contributions for those earning over £150,000.
An interim Budget has been announced for 8th July. Watch this space.