Paul Maynard appointed as minister for pensions

Paul Maynard has been appointed as the UK's minister for pensions at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Maynard replaces Laura Trott in the role as part of prime minister Rishi Sunak's cabinet reshuffle.

Maynard was appointed parliamentary under-secretary at the DWP on Monday (13 November), but it was unknown whether he would take on a pensions brief.

The DWP confirmed today (16 November) Maynard will take on the role of pensions minister.

He is the MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys.

Also reshuffled as part of Sunak's rejig of government were Guy Opperman, who was moved from the DWP to the Department for Transport as a parliamentary under-secretary; and Andrew Griffith, who was appointed science minister and replaced as Economic Secretary to the Treasury by Bim Afolami.

The Pensions Management Institute president Robert Wakefield said: "We congratulate Mr Maynard on his new role and wish him every success. We also wish to congratulate Laura Trott on her appointment to her new role.

"Mr Maynard comes to the role at a crucial time. The absence of a Pensions Bill in the King's Speech has left a range of issues unresolved, and we would welcome an opportunity for an early meeting with Mr Maynard to discuss the direction of pensions policy over the rest of this parliament. We are sure Mr Maynard will rise to the exciting challenge of his new position and confirm that we would be delighted to offer our support to him."

Barnett Waddingham partner and head of defined contribution Mark Futcher added: "Despite the seemingly never-ending carousel of pensions ministers in recent years, the problems to be solved remain remarkably static. With what's likely to be twelve months in office, Paul Maynard has the opportunity to take drastic action and solve the biggest problem going; woefully low auto-enrolment (AE) contribution levels. One piece of legislation could solve two issues: not enough people saving, and people not saving enough.

"The AE legislation excludes a huge number of low earners, including almost one in ten full-time workers. The government has opted to keep the minimum earnings band at £10,000 a year, despite multiple calls to scrap it. Mr Maynard must rethink this; if they don't, it falls to employers to consider increasing remuneration to their staff to account for the lack of long-term savings.

"Separately, of the 20 million people saving into a workplace pension, the vast majority aren't saving enough. Savings rates have plateaued at the minimum contribution level, and nobody has enough cash in their pension pot. The government had a ripe opportunity in 2012 to include a 1% employee contribution hike every two or three years, which would have moved many people towards the recommended 12% saving rate. Perhaps the moment to rectify that is now."

Dalriada Trustees head of technical, research and policy John Wilson noted: "We wish Laura Trott all the very best in her new role at the Treasury and hope that Paul Maynard is ready to hit the ground running as the new pensions minister.

"He will find his inbox very full - General Code; funding regulations; dashboards; and, of course, the Mansion House reforms, where he may find that he will be working closely with his predecessor. We hope that the reshuffle will not mean further delays for these important initiatives, many of which fundamental to effective governance of workplace pensions and more engagement and ultimately better outcomes for members."

Society of Pension Professionals president Steve Hitchiner noted: "We congratulate Paul on his appointment as pensions minster. He inherits a very busy inbox, with several unfinished areas of regulation as well as an ambitious policy agenda following on from the Mansion House proposals.  We look forward to working with him in support of positive developments for the UK pensions industry."

Pensions ministers since 1998
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