Executives in the U.K. retirement industry expressed disappointment to the news that Pensions Minister Steve Webb lost his seat in the House of Commons in Thursday's general election.
Mr. Webb, a Liberal Democrat, lost his constituency seat in Thornbury and Yate, England, to the Conservative Party representative. He had been pensions minister for five years, a period that saw the biggest changes to the U.K. retirement market for decades. Changes included the abolition of a requirement to purchase an annuity to provide income in retirement.
“Steve Webb was one of the longest serving pensions ministers, and the (National Association of Pension Funds) and its members have appreciated his expertise and his willingness to engage with the industry to make reform both practical for the industry and beneficial for savers,” said Joanne Segars, CEO at the NAPF, in a news release. “We wish him well.”
“It will no doubt be a great disappointment to many within the pensions industry to learn that Steve Webb has lost his seat in the election and will no longer be able to continue his work as pensions minister,” said Malcolm McLean, senior consultant at Barnett Waddingham, in a news release.
Speculating on a successor for the role in the new Conservative Party government, Mr. McLean said there were “no immediately obvious candidates.”
The Labour Party's Gregg McClymont, shadow pensions minister, also lost his seat in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, Scotland, to the Scottish National Party. “(Mr. McClymont's) insight and expertise as shadow pensions minister, has been highly valuable in shaping the fierce debate on pensions over the last five years,” added Ms. Segars. “We have very much appreciated the genuine interest and commitment he has shown to our sector and would like to wish him well.”