Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has appointed Laura Trott MBE as minister for pensions, after predecessor Alex Burghart officially held the role for less than one month.
Trott was appointed on 27 October, and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) made the announcement on 7 November via its official Twitter account. At the same time, it confirmed that Baroness Deborah Stedman-Scott OBE has retained her role as the spokesperson for DWP business in the House of Lords.
Trott has taken over responsibility for pensioner benefits including state, private and occupational provisions, as well as oversight of bodies such as The Pensions Regulator (TPR). She was elected as a Conservative member of parliament (MP) for Sevenoaks in 2019, prior to which she worked as a political consultant, including advising on education and family policy under Prime Minister David Cameron, and earning her MBE status in his resignation honours in 2016.
Patrick Bloomfield, partner and senior actuary at Hymans Robertson, said: “Now that we learn that Laura Trott has been appointed as the minister [for] pensions and growth, under Rishi Sunak’s new government, we look forward to working with her in this new role. She enters this post a little over a week before the latest fiscal statement and faces immediate challenges on balancing the current cost-of-living crisis with adequate savings, benefit security and supporting business facing an increasingly tough economic climate.
“We urge the incoming pensions minister to listen to industry concerns about implementation of existing policies. There is widespread support for current policy objectives on climate change, triple lock, pension dashboards, the DB funding code, automatic-enrolment and collective defined contributions [arrangements]. But we’ve all witnessed the impact that poorly thought through government fiscal policy can have on the pensions industry. We urge the new minister and her team at the DWP to take their time and entrain regulations that will deliver what the UK really needs to save for later-life over the long-term, and help close the UK’s gender and ethnicity pensions gaps.
“Present press speculation around tax allowances for pensions are particularly concerning. We hope the new minister can put the case at Parliament for how penny-pinching in pensions to fill a hole in government finances today, will heap even more misery on younger generations when the time comes for retirement.”