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Timms says come up with NPSS alternative

Minister of state for pensions reform Stephen Timms say the Government will consider private sector alternatives to Adair Turner’s National Pension Savings Scheme if the prop- osals are competitive.

In a speech to the life and pension industry at the ABI’s Saver Summit this week, Timms threw down the gauntlet to the industry to propose its own model which he says will be seriously considered if private firms can compete with Adair Turner’s 0.3 per cent annual management charge.

Timms asked the ABI to host a joint event with the Government before its spring White Paper to outline the industry’s alternative pension model.

Timms says: “The Pension Commission’s proposed level of charging for the NPSS will be quite important in evaluating an alternative approach. If you can design a detailed, workable model, it will be very attractive to us in Government.”

However, providers say that Timms’ February deadline is unrealistic.

ABI director general Stephen Haddrill says: “There are some strong feelings from memb- ers that current systems, par-ticularly post-stakeholder, could take on the admin and organisation of a system akin to Turner’s proposals. The February deadline does not leave us a lot of time to get prop- osals together.”

The National Association of Pension Funds director of pol- icy Joanne Segars says Timms’ calls for the private sector to put forward an industry alternative to the NPSS is the clearest indication yet that the Government is willing to accept much of the Pension Comm-ission’s report.

Segars says: “This is the clearest sign that the Government will opt for a form of the Pensions Commission’s recommendations, either with or without the private pension industry.”

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