Pickering's proposals `fall short': many stakeholders were hoping for more radical plans.

Author:Hayward, Cathy
Position:Pensions - Brief Article

The proposals of the Pickering report on pensions have drawn a mixed reaction from employer groups and industry bodies.

"Alan Pickering's proposals will cut red tape and help to contain costs, making it easier for employers to provide and maintain occupational pensions," said Susan Anderson, the CBI's director of HR policy.

Tim Keogh, European partner at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, agreed. "At last we have relief from at least part of the red tape. This will go some way to easing the despair felt by many employers who provide occupational pensions for their staff," he said.

But Keogh warned that many problems remained, particularly the confusing interface between state and private provision. "The proposals, while helpful, fall short of the radical simplification that is needed," he said.

The Pickering report raises more questions than answers, according to Michael Rudge, a director at pension consulting actuary Hazell Carr. The changes proposed might reverse some of the increased regulatory costs imposed on final-salary schemes, but would do nothing to address the burden of costs from low investment returns, he...

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