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Briefing Notes

Briefing Note 29 - What could a standing pensions commission look like?

As part of their proposals for pension reform, various organisations have called for the introduction of an independent standing pensions commission. However, not everyone means the same thing when they say ‘commission’. Although most suggestions aim for at least some kind of independent research and commentary on pensions policy, a commission could be designed to serve a number of different functions. The proposals envisage a number of roles for a pension commission: advisory, making recommendations, setting policy, and providing public information.

This Briefing Note sets out the main types of commission that are under consideration for the UK, using existing examples of policy-related bodies to illustrate. It finds that if some kind of commission is to be set up for the UK, careful thinking is needed on its remit and organisation. Most importantly the accountability for policy decisions—and its relationship with Parliament—would have to be clarified.

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