Pensions minister attacks EU plan

New capital rules for final salary pension schemes would add £150bn to UK firms’ costs, pensions minister Steve Webb warned yesterday. The European Commission plans to regulate pensions in the same way as insurers, making funds hold more capital against adverse events. But critics say the two are not comparable, as insurers pay out on sudden events, while pensions are long-term products. The costly rules “would harm businesses’ ability to invest, grow and create jobs, and many more schemes could be forced to close,” Webb warned.