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Pensions red tape challenge is opportune time for Government to streamline regulations, says NAPF

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Pensions experts have identified a shopping list of key areas where the Government needs to focus its energies if it is to meet its Red Tape Challenge and reinvigorate workplace pensions.

These include the "overly prescriptive" rules on the type of pensions employers need to offer, and how employers communicate with the members of their pension schemes.

Responding to the Government's Pensions Spotlight, the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) called on the Government to use the opportunity to streamline regulations.

It believes the Government needs to ensure the regulatory regime for pensions protects members' interests while not imposing unnecessary burdens on employers who are providing good quality pensions to their workforce.

Joanne Segars (pictured), NAPF chief executive, said: "We welcome that the Government is taking a long hard look at pensions regulation. This is a positive first step in its wider commitment to reinvigorate workplace pensions.

"We need a regulatory system that protects members' interests, whilst also supporting good quality workplace pensions.

"Getting a positive outcome from this red tape challenge would pave the way in opening up a spectrum of options for better sharing of risk between employers, individuals and the state, very much along the lines of the Pensions Minister's 'defined ambition' approach.

"For too long successive Governments have applied layer upon layer of regulation on pensions and we now have one of the most complex systems in the world. We need to rethink if we are to have a system that works for members, employers and schemes, and provides good quality workplace pensions to future retirees.

"However, any benefits from the Government's Red Tape Challenge could be undermined if the Government presses ahead with its plans to equalise Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMP) at a cost of £13bn. The Government needs to explain its case for GMP equalisation and publish its legal advice."