After only 11 months in the job, pension minister Richard Harrington has been replaced by Guy Opperman in the latest cabinet reshuffle. This has prompted claims from some in the pension industry that the speed of changes is like “musical chairs”, with the implication that at a time when factors like the ageing population, increasing retirement age, and recently-changed “pension freedom” legislation, it would be better if a minister was given the time to get their teeth into the job before being “shuffled” again!
ThisIsMoney reports –
“The swift departure of Harrington, who was moved sideways to the Department for Business in the post-election shake-up, leaves a newcomer with a pile of big pension issues on his plate… They include the fate of the state pension triple lock – which the Tories have said they will scrap in 2020 – a decision on when the state pension age will rise to 68, the future of tax relief on retirement savings, and the Brexit fallout for elderly expats… Harrington became Pensions Minister after Baroness Ros Altmann quit last July following the EU referendum, after spending 14 months in the post. Her predecessor Steve Webb, now policy director at Royal London, held the job for five years before that… One pensions expert, Jon Greer of Old Mutual Wealth, bemoaned the recent lack of continuity saying: ‘The role of pensions minister has been used in a game of musical chairs for some time now.”