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Which? claims ABI&#39s contracting-out factsheet &#39implies serious concerns&#39

Six million pension policyholders are to receive a factsheet aimed at helping them decide whether to stay contracted out or rejoin the state second pension.

The factsheet, produced by the ABI and Aifa, will be sent out by life and pension companies as well as IFAs over the next three months.

But Which? magazine has criticised the way the campaign places the responsibility for contracting out on the back on the consumer and claims it implies there are serious concerns about contracting out.

It is asking the FSA to conduct full market analysis to determine if there has been significant failure in this area.

The factsheet suggests consumers should review the decision to stay contracted out each year and warns that contracting out does not necessarily provide a bigger pension than staying in the state second pension. It explains how the decision should be based on a customer&#39s preference for state versus private provision and the added flexibility that contracting out provides on death benefits.

Aifa director of policy Fay Goddard says: “The change in basis of the future of pensions post-simplification has compounded to make giving advice on contracting out extremely difficult. Individuals have to accept some responsibility for their decisions.”

Which? principal researcher Tereza Fritz says: “That these factsheets are to be distributed via insurance companies and IFAs to inform customers who have been sold pension contracting-out products in the past can only imply the ABI has serious concerns about those people who are contracted out.”

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