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Providers refuse to reveal costs of transparency committees

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Pension providers are refusing to disclose how much they are spending on new committees charged with boosting transparency and ensuring customers get value for money.

New independent governance committees are publishing their first reports into pension products offered by insurers.

However, none of the firms Money Marketing spoke to would reveal how much they are paying committee members. All members are appointed by the provider but a majority and the chair have to be independent.

An Old Mutual Wealth spokesman says: “We are not currently intending to disclose IGC member fees. The disclosure of IGC member fees is a matter for the IGC and it will be considered this year, taking into account any emerging industry practice.”

Scottish Widows says the information is “commercially sensitive” while Standard Life and Aviva say remuneration is “private and confidential”.

But independent consultant Alan Higham says: “Without transparency, it’s hard to be sure whether or not they are the best committee members money can buy.”

Pension Playpen founder director Henry Tapper says: “If would be really helpful to know what budget is being put against IGCs – it would tell you how much resource is being spent on governance and how seriously the insurers are taking this.

“For instance, is there a dedicated budget for dealing with the IGCs and if there is not, is that blocking the committees from their work?”

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