Liz Kendall named secretary of state for work and pensions

Liz Kendall
Credit: UK government, under Attribution 3.0 Unported Deed, resized

Liz Kendall, the re-elected MP for Leicester West, has been appointed as the secretary of state for work and pensions as part of the new Labour government established last week.

In her new role, she will have overall responsibility for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), including the departmental strategy, planning and performance, reporting and governance requirements, as well as departmental expenditure.

The DWP handles the administration of the state pension and working age benefits system, supporting those of working age, employers, pensioners, families and children, and disabled people.

Kendall, who was elected as the Labour MP for Leicester West in May 2010, has been shadow secretary of state for work and pensions since September 2023. Before this, she was shadow health minister.

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Clive Pugh, partner at UK law firm Burges Salmon, says: “The incoming pensions minister will certainly have a very full, very complex portfolio to get to grips with. The Labour party manifesto has promised a review of the pensions landscape, with the dual focuses of assessing how to improve pension outcomes and how to increase investments in UK markets. We can therefore expect to see both market consolidation and productive finance remain high on the agenda, as they have been under the Conservative party’s Mansion House reforms.

“We would like to see the new government’s pensions eco-system review, which will encompass both private and public sector arrangements, engage fully with stakeholders in the industry who will have valuable insights and perspective to offer on both the challenges for pensions and possible future solutions. For defined benefit (DB) schemes, the most immediate request will be sight of the Pensions Regulator’s new DB funding code. Other ongoing legal issues include the pensions dashboards timetables, the extension of automatic enrolment, ironing out wrinkles in the abolition of the lifetime allowance, and the promised consultation on new value for money requirements for defined contribution schemes.”