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Webb won’t wear it
If anyone loves a gossip it’s the pensions industry and last night’s PMI dinner was no different. One particular rumour doing the rounds caught my ear. An industry insider told me that that even if the coalition continued after the election, pensions minister Steve Webb wouldn’t have his eye on the pensions job, as he didn’t want to implement the new freedoms.
Speaking to me this afternoon Webb denied this vehemently, saying: “It’s ludicrous, it’s somebody mischief making.” He continued: “Even if I did think it, I wouldn’t say it, but it’s complete nonsense. The idea that you’d advocate for a reform, press for it, deliver it in government and then suddenly run away when the going got tough after the election is ridiculous.”
Of course, should Webb no longer have the job because of the election results, one can’t help but speculate as to what he’ll do next? A trustee suggested to me that perhaps he can pick up where Tim Jones left off as the chief executive of the NEST.
On the other hand, the NAPF have long been calling for an Independent Retirement Savings Commission, to separate pensions from politics and create stability. Could our longest-standing pensions minister take the role out of the political spectrum by becoming its first ever commissioner?
At least that way he’ll keep his hand on the tiller of auto-enrolment.