New pension minister sets out priorities

Safeguarding freedom and choice, implementing the new state pension and continuing the rollout of auto-enrolment are the top priorities for incoming pensions minister Dr Ros Altmann.

Altmann, who is expected to be made a baroness, giving her a seat in the House of Lords, is joined in the Department for work of pensions by secretary of state Iain Duncan Smith (centre), minister for employment Priti Patel (far left), Lord Freud who continues as minister for welfare reform (second left), and minister for disabled people Justin Tomlinson (second right).

Lord Freud is also an unelected appointment within the department holding a ministerial position through a seat in the House of Lords.

Altmann says: “For many years it has been my ambition to make pensions work better for everyone and improve people’s later-life incomes. Up to now, that has been as an independent policy expert. I am delighted to now have the opportunity to make a difference from within government.

“As our population ages, it is more important than ever to help, encourage and empower people to plan and prepare for their later years.

“I will take forward work to bring in the new State Pension, help millions more to be enrolled into good quality workplace pension schemes, and safeguard new freedom and choice as to how people access their savings.

“My priorities are clear: to strengthen British pensions, improve later life incomes, and protect the pensioners of today and tomorrow.”