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Government clinging to the notion of stakeholder success

The Government is still clinging to its view that stakeholder pensions have been a success despite criticism of the regime from MPs, trade bodies and the FSA.

Responding to a Treasury select committee report on NPSS regulation, the Government says stakeholder pensions have been a success in reaching their target audience. It says over 2.7 million stakeholder pensions were bought between April 2001 and December 2005 and take-up has been high by the target group of moderate earners.

The TSC report said the starting point for NPSS discussion had to be the realisation that stakeholder has not been successful in halting the decline of private pension saving among low to middle-earners.

At a recent TSC meeting on financial inclusion, FSA chief executive John Tiner said there were questions to be asked around stakeholder products due to low take-up.

However, the Government statement says: “Stakeholder has been a success for its target audience and their introduction has made a good-value personal pension vehicle widely accessible for the first time. This is backed up by sales figures.”

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