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Ex-chancellor Lord Lawson pushes for greater pension cost disclosure

Former chancellor Lord Lawson is attempting to force pension providers and fund managers to provide greater disclosure on a range opaque pension costs.

The Financial Times reports the Tory peer has written a draft amendment to the pensions bill which would force firms to disclose costs such as fees to investment managers, broker commission, and bid-offer spreads to foreign exchange counterparties.

Lawson also wants greater disclosure on payments to custodian banks, third-party scheme administrator fees and other charges to professional advisers and fees on investments in pooled funds.

Pensions minister Steve Webb is expected to update parliament on his plans to introduce a charge cap tomorrow. It was revealed last week that the Government was likely to delay the introduction of its charge cap, originally due to be introduced this April, by at least a year.

The newspaper says Lord Lawson plans to wait to hear Webb’s update before moving his amendment.

He told the House of Lords he would work with Labour to force the disclosure if Webb’s response was “inadequate”.

Lawson said: “Events may subsequently suggest that there may be some need for regulation but initially the remedy must be to require disclosure.”

He said this would help remove “mischief” in the market.

Lawson added: “The costs are massive in this area. Some costs are not revealed at all; some are. Even with the costs that are revealed, there is such a lack of consistency.”

Earlier this week Webb said there will be no “screeching U-turns” over the Government’s pension charge cap plans but admitted its original timetable may have been unrealistic.

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Perhaps Lord Lawson would remove the mischief that is encompassed by the government in the regulation that freezes the pensions of 550,000 ex-pat pensioners who all qualify for the indexed pension but are robbed by this regulation. Then what does Steve Webb do but incorporate the discriminative policy into the new Pensions Bill with the addition of clause 20. This is the improved simplified Bill raised to replace the other complicated one . The mind boggles and this problem should be resolved because the cost of replying to queries, paying the uprating when a pensioner visits some uprated countries( another stupid situation ) and freeloading on some countries where this freezing is practiced as admitted by Webb. Get moving Lord Lawson and put this right.

  2. Andy Robertson-Fox 24th January 2014 at 10:56 am

    One can clearly understand Lord Lawson’s concerns. This bill is really a bit of a shambles and has been since the day Webb introduced his Green Paper on it proclaiming that “fairness” was one of the four basic principles by which he proposed to abide by. That didn’t last long did it? Just ask a frozen pensioner.
    Webb then delayed in presenting the White Paper to the House for several months, quoted innaccurate figures in relation to costs of universal State Pension index linking and in the Scrutiny Committee stage he protested that to set up a review on the frozen pensions scandal would delay it by six months but now, it seems, Webb intends to delay the introduction of a charge cap by about a year.
    George Morley has outlined the benefits to the UK economy of abolishing the existing Regulation and the removal of Clause 20 from this Biill. One hopes that in addition to his possible amendment clause to the charges issue Lord Lawson urges the House of Lords to follow through and press for the removal of this iniquity – that he was surely aware of in his Chancellorship but did nothing about.

  3. It costs the taxpayer more to continue the frozen pension discrimination than it would to treat all state pensioners fairly (that word again that ministers mis-use). Are you going to insist on cost disclosure regarding that Mr Lawson? It has been proven that expats pensioners save the UK economy £3,000 a year each, there are around one million expat pensioners so I’m sure you can work out the savings on add on benefits that the UK based pensioners are entitled to. More than half of expats get their rightful cost of living increases annually and the rest have no increases, ever. Blatant discrimination and theft when ALL have paid for their pensions under the same terms. Cameron, Webb et al bang on about fairness! How can anyone believe a word they say when this injustice is still going to go ahead by it’s inclusion in the new pension bill? Disgraceful treatment of a country’s seniors, shame on them.

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