The government is to consult on expanding the Pension Protection Fund’s (PPF) role to act as a consolidator for defined benefit (DB) pension schemes that are deemed “unattractive to commercial providers” and are not currently served by the market.
This is aimed at increasing opportunities for DB schemes to invest in productive finance while fully protecting member’s benefits.
Elaine Torry, partner at Hymans Robertson, said: “The PPF has a natural head start to become a public consolidator, so not unsurprising that this has featured in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, but this is not the most important area of focus in the DB policy space, and the government should not miss the opportunity to reinvigorate retirement savings.
“The PPF’s statutory objectives and operational aims as a voluntary public consolidator would differ from the PPF’s current employer insolvency arrangements. This would require material changes at the PPF, not least to cope with the myriad form of non-standard DB benefits that exist. And we wholly oppose any public consolidation vehicle, PPF or otherwise, that appropriates assets from the PPF’s existing employer insolvency arrangements. Any public consolidator must be voluntary and separate.”