Danish admin provider ATP has withdrawn from the running for the contract to administer personal accounts.
The Personal Accounts Delivery Authority says the firm decided that providing services for the scheme did not “fit with their commercial model”.
Speaking to Money Marketing last week, Conservative Shadow pensions minister Nigel Waterson pointed out that, under the current procurement plan, contracts with providers would not be signed until around June next year.
He said: “It ties in well with a possible election date. By the time of the election, nobody is going to be committed to anything and it is a perfect opportunity to review where we are and where this is all going.”
Money Marketing revealed in May that Pada had drawn up a short list of four suppliers to administer personal accounts.
Arbejdsmarkedet Tillaegs-pension, which runs Denmark’s national pension scheme, was up against a consortium comprising Logica UK, International Financial Data Services and DST Systems, as well as Tata Consultancy Services and a team including Great West Retirement Services and Canada Life.
A Pada spokeswoman says ATP’s withdrawal follows discussions on the detailed requirements of providing services for personal accounts. She says: “The competitive dialogue process with other bidders is proceeding well.”
The news comes as the Conservatives continue to voice anxieties about the scheme.
At an Association of British Insurers conference last Tuesday, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Theresa May said: “I am increasingly concerned about the impact of personal accounts. The latest implementation programme has exacerbated that concern. The basic question I am asking – and this is something we are trying to look at before the election – is whether there is another way of achieving what was wanted.”