The other Tuesday I met with Work and Pensions Minister Shailesh Vara MP to discuss various pensions’ changes.
The main issue we discussed was the roll out of the Automatic Enrolment pensions for all employers. This legislation ensures all workers are given a pension by their employer to allow them to save for their retirement. Every employer has been given a date where this needs to be implemented based on their PAYE reference and this whole programme is being rolled out by 2018.
The Automatic Enrolment Team would be happy to hold a round table event with local businesses who would like more information. If this is something your business would be interested please register your interest by emailing my office.
Another issue I discussed with the Minister is the changes to the Women State Pension Age which has been brought to my attention recently again following a national campaign. This was a policy which was debated fully in the House of Commons in 2011 and is being brought in to equalise pension ages for men and women to comply with equality legislation.
Due to public concern at the time of second reading Ministers went away and made changes to the proposals to mean that instead of some women having to wait an extra two years to retire, they had to wait a maximum of 18 months, and many much less as a result of the 2011 legislation.
It would cost £30bn to reduce pension ages for women back to the levels in the 1995 reforms and it is therefore not something the Government will be revisiting since it was already fully debated in 2011.
We recently received the extremely sad news that Lord Cecil Parkinson of Carnforth had passed away following a long battle with cancer.
Lord Parkinson was born and brought up in the area and will be well remembered as one of the great personalities of the Thatcher era.
My thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
You can contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 01524 841225.