Notification requirements

Part of Pension Schemes Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 7 February 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions) 3:15, 7 February 2017

I will continue to champion the members of master trusts this afternoon. The amendment would simply ensure that when triggering events happen, and if and when they are resolved, information on them flows right through the communication chain. As I said when I spoke on member engagement, it is important to understand that we need to put the member at the heart of the process. If members find out only at second hand about such events, which affect their hard-earned cash, it is bound to result in lower levels of trust—never mind all the anxiety and everything that goes with it. I pose the question: how would hon. Members feel if no one told them that there was an issue with their pension pot? I know that is rare for Members of Parliament, but if they had a separate pension pot and were not given that information, would they not be concerned? They would not be best chuffed, and they would want to know why they were not being informed.

Trust is vital, and it is at very low levels both in financial services and, more importantly, in us who make the law. How can we look our constituents in the eye if they ask us, “Why did you not put me first? It’s my money. It’s my retirement at risk”? There are those who claim that there are problems with reaching vast numbers of people, but this is the 21st century and it is not necessary to fell trees to make paper to send out hundreds of thousands of letters. It is a simple of chain of events, and if it can go to employers I believe it should also go to members.