Former Pensions Minister Sir Steve Webb was the guest speaker at Quantum Advistory's recent Pensions for Breakfast seminar at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

Now director of policy and external communications at Royal London, Sir Steve provided plenty of anecdotal insights into his time behind the scenes of David Cameron’s government and gave his thoughts on a variety of pensions issues, including the current defined benefit funding scheme and proposed collective defined contribution.

Discussing if he were to rewrite the forthcoming Pensions Bill, Sir Steve said his four priorities would be legislation to assist the consolidation of the DB market, further focus on the Pensions Dashboard, emphasis on getting CDC schemes up and running and promoting the New State Pension, which is designed to be simpler and give people a flat rate amount so they know what amount to expect.

He also highlighted other ‘pensions positives’ including pensions freedoms and choice for people to decide what to do with their funds in retirement and automatic enrolment, which has introduced 10 million people to pension saving for the first time.

Downsides of pensions reforms include, in his opinion, Tapered Annual Allowance which he describes as ‘the worst piece of pensions policy’.

Sir Steve said: “Ironically, the thing that has gone wrong with pensions freedoms is not buying Lamborghinis, but reckless caution with accessed funds being invested in low returning investments that do not even keep up with inflation.”

Stuart Price, partner and actuary at Quantum Advisory, said: “Sir Steve’s talk was so engaging and all the delegates had a thoroughly enjoyable time. In addition to the pensions aspect it was great to see the networking before and after the talk.”

The next Pensions for Breakfast seminar will take place on November 13.