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Call for new ‘protocol’ on pension charges

 

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has set out plans for a ‘clear and comprehensive protocol’ in a bid to provide greater clarity over pension charges and costs.

 

In a letter to the Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Unit of the FSA, the ABI called for the introduction of a new disclosure agreement in which members of company and private pensions schemes will be given more information about how much they are being charged.

 

As part of the agreement, the ABI is proposing that pension scheme members should be sent ‘regular, clear and meaningful information’ on charges and transaction costs such as stockbroking fees.

 

The ABI said it hopes that improving transparency across the pensions industry will help to boost consumer confidence ahead of the introduction of automatic pension enrolment, which commences this Autumn.

 

With reports of high pension charges attracting widespread media attention, the insurer fears that such publicity will deter many people from saving for their retirement.

 

‘We must ensure that information on charges and costs is available, clear and meaningful, and helps employees make the right decisions about their pension,’ commented Otto Thoresen, director general of the ABI.

 

‘For too long, different parts of the private pensions system, regulated by two different regulators, have given employees too little information about what they are paying.

 

‘Openness and transparency are now expected by customers, so we all have to do better,’ he said.