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‘First step’ needs more work on value for money

Advisers, providers and politicians are warning that more needs to be done to make the National Association of Pensions Funds’ code of conduct workable.

The NAPF is consulting on proposals which would require all pension scheme charges to be stated in a summary document alongside a standard two-page guide to help employers compare the effect of charges on the pension pot of a “sample” employee.

Aegon regulatory strategy manager Kate Smith says: “The industry has been hit with a barrage of accusations in the past two years about charges and a lack of transparency. Bearing that in mind, we see this as a useful consultation but there is a lot more work to be done.

“We want to see the emphasis not just on charges but on other aspects, such as the value of services. The most important thing is making sure employers get value for money.”

AWD Chase de Vere head of communications Patrick Connolly says: “At the top level, it is sensible to simplify things for small employers because at the moment it is not easy for them to compare pension scheme charges.

“However, one sample employee is not going to be relevant in most cases, so the NAPF will need to consider how more detailed illustrations can be provided.”

Labour Shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont says: “The consultation document is an important first step towards delivering transparency. I hope the pension industry will use this as a springboard to working on an easy-to-understand and standardised form of disclosure for all consumers.”

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