Politics is getting fractious and benefits are getting sucked in
If this document actually has led to the delay in pension savings of around 5 million individuals, and the delay in increases in contributions of many more, then the ministers responsible should be ashamed of themselves. The pensions section of this report extends to barely a thousand words, a page and a half of A4 depending on your font.
Webb is obviously not in that category, but there must be others in the government who have previously been signed up to the supposed auto-enrolment consensus who have proved less committed.
Beecroft, a venture capitalist and backer of scandal-hit 4,000% APR payday loan company Wonga, has completely failed to answer the cliff-edge criticism that his proposal of exempting employers with up to 5, or even 10 staff.
Yet we should expect more politically driven changes going forward. Some will actually promote benefits, such as Iain Duncan Smith’s pledge to get 500,000 people off the state sickness books. Others will see pensions becoming a political football again. While the delay in auto-enrolment was initially only meant to affect employers with 50 or less staff from May 2015, the actual published regulations point to a June 2015 implementation date. Only a month later, yet crucially after the probable date of the next election. What’s the betting a further delay will be in someone’s manifesto.