Only two weeks to implement pension rules, CBI warns

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A reissuing of age discrimination rules affecting pensions means firms will only have two weeks to comply, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has claimed.

Before new anti-age discrimination rules were introduced on 1 October, employers' groups and lawyers warned that thousands of company pension schemes would fall foul of the new regulations. The government agree to delay the implementation of the pension element of the rules until December 1.

On Thursday, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) published a revised set of regulations for consultation which ministers said deal with the earlier concerns. Measures include allowing employers to pay varying contributions to workers of different ages as long as the aim is to make the outcome more equal.

But the CBI said although the new regulations were welcome, firms will have very little time to implement them.

"The government had delayed [the rules] till December 1, but if, as now appears, the final version is not made law until mid-November, companies will have just a fortnight to review their arrangements, agree any changes and inform employees or be exposed to charges of discrimination," said John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general.

"Implementing the changes in two weeks would demand a huge and expensive administration exercise which would be completely unrealistic as well as contrary to the government's much-avowed 'better regulation' principles. It is crucial that ministers give employers time to resolve the mess government has created."

The CBI said it will examine the amendments to gauge how far ministers have addressed employers' concerns before responding to the government.

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