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Field warns low earners to avoid scheme

The failure of stakeholder to penetrate the Government&#39s target market of lower earners is to be welcomed while confusion over state provision persists, says former welfare reform minister Frank Field.

Speaking at a Towers Perrin pensions conference in London last week, Labour MP Field said until the Government sorts out what it will and will not pay for in state retirement benefits, lower earners should stay away from stakeholder schemes.

Field said: “The advice to most of the target audience should be to hold back and not contribute. The strategy of helping the poor is undermining the efforts in getting people to take out a pension.”

The Department for Work and Pensions has rejected Field&#39s comments, saying low earners have never been the target market for stakeholder.

A DWP spokesman says: “Low-income people are not the target market. We have always said middle and higher earners are the target market.”

Field says the Government has been forced into redefining who its various policies are targeted at when it realised they “did not knit together well”.

He told the conference that Government initiatives such as the minimum income guarantee and the pension credit are short-term and bound to be scrapped.

He said: “The Mig will not continue in the future. This is the area politicians will not say. It cannot continue, let me be the first to say.”

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