Labour manifesto confirms key pension priorities

The Labour Party has shared its 2024 manifesto, confirming plans to conduct a pensions review if elected, to consider what further steps are needed to improve security in retirement, and increase productive investment in the UK economy.

In its manifesto, Labour said that it will act to increase investment from pension funds in UK markets, by adopting reforms to ensure that workplace pension schemes take advantage of consolidation and scale, and to deliver better returns for UK savers and greater productive investment for UK PLC.

The party also reiterated its commitment to undertaking a full review of the pensions landscape to consider what further steps are needed to improve pension outcomes and increase investment in UK markets, and its commitment to retaining the state pension triple lock.

"We will also adopt reforms to workplace pensions to deliver better outcomes for UK savers and pensioners," the manifesto stated.

"Our pensions review will consider what further steps are needed to improve security in retirement, as well as to increase productive investment in the UK economy".

Initially announced in January, Labour's plans for a pension review have been broadly welcomed by the pensions industry, with many expressing their relief that aspects of proposed pension policy will likely be retained if the Labour Party wins the next general election following this.

The role of pensions in climate change efforts was also highlighted in the Labour manifesto, as the party argued that the financial services industry has a "major role" to play in mobilising trillions of pounds in private capital to address the "greatest long-term challenge of our age".

Given this, it said that it will look to mandate UK-regulated financial institutions, including banks, asset managers, pension funds, and insurers, and FTSE 100 companies to develop and implement credible transition plans that align with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.

More broadly, Labour also said that it will look to end the injustice of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme, confirming its intent to review the "unfair" surplus arrangements and transfer the Investment Reserve Fund back to members.

The manifesto made no mention of any plans to reinstate the lifetime allowance, seemingly confirming recent reports that the party had dropped plans to reintroduce the tax if elected, as a result of industry concerns around the uncertainty for savers and the complexity involved.

Commenting on the launch of the manifesto, Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer, said: “Some people say that how you grow the economy is not a central question - that it's not about how you create wealth, but how you tax it, how you spend it, how you slice the cake, that's all that matters.

“So let me be crystal clear - this manifesto is a total rejection of that argument, because if you transform the nature of the jobs market, change the infrastructure that supports investment into our economy, reform the planning regime, start to unlock the potential of billions upon billions in projects that are ready to go, held up by the blockers of aspiration, then that does so much more to our long-term growth prospects.

“The same is true of our public services. If we could grow the economy at anything like the level the last Labour Government did, that's an extra £70bn worth of investment for our public services.

“Wealth creation is our number one priority. Growth is our core business - the end and the means of national renewal. The mandate we seek from Britain at this election is for economic growth.

“This changed Labour Party has a plan for growth. We are pro-business and pro-worker. The party of wealth creation.

“We have a plan in this manifesto that represents a total change in direction, that is laser-focused on our cause. A government back in the service of you and your family.”

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