The Birmingham office of global legal firm, Squire Sanders recently held a roundtable dinner to debate the range of workplace pension reforms with the Minister of State for Pensions, Steve Webb.
The event was held at the Squire Sanders office, in association with KPMG and the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, and highlighted the key issues which UK businesses face surrounding the reform agenda. Guests included senior figures from leading companies such as JLR, Birmingham Airport, Mondelez (formerly Cadbury), Goodyear, Goodrich – UTC, National Express and TRW.
Guests were encouraged to join in the debate during which the Liberal Democrat minister gave some insightful comments around three key areas of reform;
- Early indications are that the auto-enrolment reforms have been an enormous success
- The Minister will be having regular interaction with the Pensions Regulator in order to ensure that defined benefit plan funding arrangements are not a block to sustainable business growth
- In terms of the "defined ambition" agenda, the Minister is seeking to create a permissive space and establish institutions to support alternative pensions models. This will not impose obligations on businesses but will provide an attractive alternative to defined contribution arrangements.
Commenting on the event Squire Sanders pensions partner Matthew Giles said: “It was a breath of fresh air to hear a Government minister directly addressing a range of key issues which affect some of the UK’s largest businesses. The opportunity to debate such areas of concern was particularly appreciated by all who attended the reception. Steve Webb took on board the feedback and has taken away some points to follow up on."