McVey, new Work & Pensions Secretary, must resist tinkering and fully engage


09 Jan, 2018

McVey, new Work & Pensions Secretary, must resist tinkering and fully engage

Esther McVey must resist the temptation to tinker with the pension system and engage fully with the pensions industry, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

Nigel Green, deVere Group’s chief executive and founder, is speaking out after Ms McVey, the Member of Parliament for Tatton, was promoted to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on Monday night as part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Green says: “Successive Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions have been unable to resist tinkering around with the pension system and pension policy. Ms McVey must not fall into this trap.

“Continual short-termist tinkering is counterproductive and misguided as pensions are, by their very nature, long-term.

“The industry and consumers demand a continued period of stability in the often-confusing and complex pensions sector to give the more recent major shake-ups, such as the new state pension, the new pension freedoms and the latest annual tax allowance rules, time to settle.”

He continues: “The Department for Work and Pensions has a huge impact on millions of lives and requires a leader with empathy, big picture perspective, as well as a keen eye for complex detail.

“With this in mind, I would urge Ms McVey to engage fully with the pensions industry and pension savers on any future changes in order to ensure that the current and forthcoming challenges are successfully addressed and met, the policy fundamentals are right, and that any errors of the past are put right in a measured, balanced and just way.”

In November last year, Chancellor Philip Hammond was almost universally praised for delivering a Budget that left pensions, in the main, untouched. At the time, Mr Green said: “We are delighted that Mr Hammond has left pensions alone in this Budget and we hope that this lack of meddling is the start of a new approach.”

Following Esther McVey’s appointment, the deVere CEO concludes: “Whilst politics is an ever-changing and choppy sea, our individual requirements remain the same. We all still grow older and we must all still continue to plan our retirement.

“Retirement planning is a long-term project, which needs a secure, long-termist policy and system framework, and pension savers must remain focused on planning for their long-term needs and wants to enjoy the opportunities retirement can bring.