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Webb: legal barriers remain to lifting Nest restrictions

by Alex Steger on Jan 23, 2013 at 10:38

Webb: legal barriers remain to lifting Nest restrictions

Pensions minister Steve Webb has poured cold water on the idea of lifting restrictions on the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest), arguing that legal obstacles remain.

In November 2012 the government published a call for evidence on lifting the restrictions on Nest following calls from politicians, most vocally shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont, for them to be scrapped ahead of a scheduled review in 2017.

McClymont has argued that the government only needs to prove that the restrictions on Nest, a contribution limit and ban on transfers in and out, impedes its ability to meet its public service obligation.

Webb (pictured) has previously said lifting the restrictions could contravene European Union (EU) laws.

Giving evidence to the Work and Pensions committee on governance and best practice in workplace pension provision, Webb said the government would also need to prove the market was failing as a result of Nest operating with the restrictions.

‘My legal advice is different from Gregg’s. My legal advice is that we would need evidence of market failure,’ he said.

‘We are gathering that evidence, and even if we had that, there’s still a process to go through.

‘There is a risk we get too hung up with the EU and… unless you get evidence the market is failing you won’t be able to change anything.’

3 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Dan Rear

Jan 23, 2013 at 11:51

Yet another reason to get out of Brussels... Whether or not we think Nest restrictions should be lifted, surely for a UK only Pension arrangement, it ought to be for our Politcos/Courts to decide on them

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John Borgars

Jan 23, 2013 at 12:47

@ Dan Rear

So you should support Cameron to get sensible derogations of powers

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Dan Rear

Jan 23, 2013 at 13:38

Quite agree John, good specch this am I thought. Where does it leave the Eds and Comrades Clegg & Cable I wonder?

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