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Pensions Bill passed by the House of Lords

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The Pensions Bill has been accepted by the House of Lords, further paving the away for auto-enrolment and the launch of the National Employee Savings Trust (NEST) scheme in 2012.

Darren Philp (pictured), director of policy at the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), said: "We are pleased this landmark Bill has gone through with extra flexibility for employers and pension schemes around the 2012 auto-enrolment reforms. Waiting periods and certification will help employers meet their duties under the new legislation.

"The former will allow employers to wait three months before enrolling their staff into pensions, while the latter will enable employers to auto-enrol staff into existing good-quality pensions.

"But the clock is ticking. With the reforms coming into effect soon, employers need certainty around the new rules so that they can start making the necessary changes.

"It is essential that the Government and the Regulator act quickly and give clear guidance to employers on what they need to do."

Commenting on the rise of State Pension Age to 66, Philp added: "Increases in the State Pension Age are unavoidable to tackle the costs of an ageing society. "But the reward for working longer must be a more generous and simpler State Pension - the UK's is currently one of the worst in Europe. The Government needs to press on with its plan for a State Pension that sets a stronger foundation for retirement."

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