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NPSS misselling fear

Bee says the Government must outline how savers in Personal Accounts will be protected

Pensions guru Steve Bee has urged the Government to outline how savers in Personal Accounts will be protected against misselling.

He fears there will be widespread NPSS misselling as low earners find 40 per cent of their savings clawed back through means-testing on benefits.

Bee says the Government has failed to distinguish whether the proposed system of Personal Accounts will be structured as personal pensions, as the name implies, or occupational pension schemes.

Personal pensions fall under the FSA’s remit, while occupational pensions are protec- ted by the Pensions Regul- ator and the Pension Protection Fund.

Bee says that reports that the DWP will structure Per-sonal Accounts as an occup-ational pension have not been confirmed.

He suggests if Personal Accounts are not going to be structured as personal pensions they could be rebranded to NPSS to avoid confusion.

“If Personal Accounts are not going to be structured as Personal Pensions, then there might be a good chance that the use of such a similar name to describe them may confuse people into thinking they are the same thing.”

A DWP spokesman says: “We have been examining the design detail of each model, consumer protection issues and legal requirements and will announce our proposals on Personal Accounts in the White Paper.”

The ABI says research by Oxera disproves the argument that a centralised NPSS would be cheaper than an industry-led model. The ABI, which has refused to commit to a charge cap, says the research proves cost cannot be the decisive factor in choosing between competing models as the advantages gained in terms of econ- omies of scale for a centralised fund are limited.

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