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Nest chief urges pension industry push

National Employment Savings Trust chairman Lawrence Churchill has urged the pension industry to work in partnership with Nest officials to bring about improvements in employer provision.

At the National Association of Pension Funds annual conference in Liverpool last week, Churchill said the difficulties of rolling out Nest, which is being scrutinised by DWP officials following a three-month independent review of auto-enrolment, should not be underestimated.

He highlighted the “market failure” associated with pension provision for low to medium-earners, with 750,000 (58 percent) employers offering no provision. Of the employers that offer a pension, around 280,000 fail to match the Nest minimum requirements.

Churchill says: “The 2012 reforms aim to trigger a large increase in pension provision, roughly half of which is nothing to do with Nest but will lead to increases in existing provision. For some of the expanded market, Nest will be a natural supplier but for much of the market, it will not be. We aim to work collab-oratively with the industry to make sure employers get the service which suits them best for all parts of their workforce.”

He also hinted that Nest would adopt an ultra-low-risk investment strategy.

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  1. But which organisation is going to handle the investment end of things? Despite all the hot air and huge salaries for various people doing just one or two day working weeks, of this we hear nothing.

    All we know so far is that the AMC is going be 2% to recover what PADA has blown thus far (not least the £25m bung to TATA for having accepted the admin contract, even though no one seems as yet to know what TATA’s actually done) + whatever the investment costs may be. But nobody knows what the investment costs are going to be because no one’s prepared to take it on, almost certainly because the government is offering the contract on such absurdly unprofitable terms. You want us to do it for what? You must be bloody joking.

    You’ll notice in all this that by far the biggest cost element is that of PADA, which tells us quite a lot about the vast gulf between what anything done by a government body costs and the cost which that same government expects the private sector to do its bit for. It’s all very FSA-esque isn’t it? Do as we say, not as we do.

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