Age discrimination pensions regulations deferred until December

Pension provisions in the age discrimination regulations due to come into force in October have been delayed until 1 December, the government has announced.

Minister for pensions reform James Purnell announced the measure in response to concerns voiced by industry and employers.

The two-month delay will give schemes more time to adjust to the new regulations, following significant activity in the pensions sector. It will also allow a short informal consultation period to assess whether any amendments are required to provide greater clarity for schemes and employers.

Purnell said: “We have listened carefully to the concerns voiced by pension schemes and employers and decided to hold off on implementing the pensions aspects of the legislation to allow more time for the industry to get to grips with the changes.

“During the intervening time we shall be running an informal consultation in which we will investigate whether any amendments should be made to the current regulations.

“We are committed to making sure any new regulations concerning pensions contribute towards the overall goal of encouraging more people to provide for their future.”

Sam Mercer, director of the Employers Forum on Age (EFA), said: “While we are pleased the government has finally listened to the concerns of employers, this is an eleventh-hour decision. The EFA warned government three years ago that pensions were at risk under the age regulations, and they have failed to act until now.

“The problems we face now are a direct result of the government’s failure to live up to its promise of giving employers two years to prepare for the regulations.”

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