The Queens Speech 2017

22 June 2017

SUMMARY

  • The Queen delivered her Speech on 21 June, two days later than originally intended, giving the legislative programme for the next two years.

  • The programme includes 27 Bills and draft Bills.

  • A Financial Guidance Bill will establish a new single statutory body for the provision of debt advice, money guidance and pension guidance.

  • A Data Protection Bill will establish a new data protection regime.

  • A Summer Finance Bill 2017 will include a range of tax measures.

  • The previously proposed ending of the State Pension triple lock in 2020 was not included.

BILLS WHICH COULD AFFECT PENSIONS

Repeal Bill

The Bill will:

  • Repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and convert EU law into UK law.

  • Create temporary powers for Parliament to make secondary legislation, enabling corrections to be made to the laws that do not operate appropriately once the UK has left the EU; it will also allow  changes to be made to domestic law to reflect the content of any withdrawal agreement under Article 50.

    Replicate the common UK frameworks created by EU law in UK law, and maintain the scope of devolved decision-making powers immediately after exit. This will be a transitional arrangement to provide certainty after exit and allow intensive discussion and consultation with the devolved administrations on where lasting common frameworks are needed.

The Bill does not put any constraints on the withdrawal agreement the UK will make with the EU and further legislation will be introduced to support such an agreement if and when required.

Financial Guidance and Claims Bill

The Bill will:

  • Combine three financial advice bodies (the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise) into a new single statutory body, accountable to Parliament, with responsibility for coordinating the provision of debt advice, money guidance, and pension guidance.

  • Transfer the regulation of claims management services to the Financial Conduct Authority, and transfer complaints-handling responsibility to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Data Protection Bill

The Bill will:

  • Ensure that the data protection framework is suitable for the new digital age, and cement the UK’s position at the forefront of technological innovation, international data sharing and protection of personal data.

  • Strengthen rights and empower individuals to have more control over their personal data including a right to be forgotten when individuals no longer want their data to be processed, provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.

  • Establish a new data protection regime for non-law enforcement data processing, replacing the Data Protection Act 1998.

  • Modernise and update the regime for data processing by law enforcement agencies.

Finance Bills

The programme will also include three Finance Bills to implement budget decisions. A Summer Finance Bill 2017 will include a range of tax measures including those to tackle avoidance.

National Insurance Contributions Bill

The Bill will:

  • Legislate for the National Insurance contribution (NICs) changes announced in the 2016 Budget and the 2016 Autumn Statement.

  • Make the NICs system fairer and simpler.

  • This legislation does not relate to the discussion of Class 4 contributions (for the self-employed) at the time of the Spring Budget 2017.

COMMENT

The Queen’s Speech contained no surprises from a pensions perspective. The State Pension triple lock looks like it will survive beyond 2020, given the Government’s lack of a majority. There was no hint of any further tinkering with pensions tax relief. It remains to be seen whether, as promised before the General Election, the proposed reduction in the Money Purchase Annual Allowance from £10,000 to £4,000 will be included in the Summer Finance Bill.

NEXT STEPS

Trustees should keep a watching brief for measures in the Summer Finance Bill (such as the previously proposed reduction in the Money Purchase Annual Allowance).

Trustees should ensure they are ready for the new data protection regime which is likely to apply from May 2018 (when the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into force).

For further information on any of the issues raised in this article, contact your usual JLT Consultant or Julian Rowe, Senior Technical Consultant at julian_rowe@jltgroup.com.