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Pensions minister tells ABI to accelerate charges disclosure standards

Steve Webb 480 LibDems DWP

The pensions minister has urged the Association of British Insurers to accelerate plans to introduce improved disclosure standards on costs and charges for providers.

Earlier this month, 14 of the UK’s biggest pension providers signed up to a series of charges disclosure requirements. Under the terms of the agreement, insurers will be required to disclose total charges to employees at the outset to a standard definition, disclose total charges in the previous year and disclose the previous year’s investment transaction costs.

The new standards will be implemented by the summer of 2014 for schemes newly established for auto-enrolment, and by 31 December 2015 for all older workplace pension schemes.

The proposed timetable has been criticised as too slow by Labour shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont.

Addressing the DWP select committee last week, Steve Webb said: “We are urging the ABI to go faster than [the existing timetable]; that is what I said to them last week.

“One of the problems for the ABI is the diversity of their membership and trying to get everyone to do something the same way is a challenge.”

ABI director of life, savings and protection Stephen Gay says: “We would expect the minister to be pressing us to move faster. I would stress that what we have set is a deadline and the 14 signatories are free to im­plement this earlier if they are able to.”

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