As the debate rages in the UK over Adair Turner's recent Pension Commission report, the major insurers have been having their say. While Norwich Union's reaction was mixed, the response from Friends Provident's Jeremy Ward was far more scathing.
Gary Withers, chief executive of Norwich Union Life, said: The report contains some good concepts, particularly the idea of increasing flexibility of annuities, and the simplification of the state second pension by phasing the removal of contracting out.
But clarification is needed around the assumption that the National Pension Saving Scheme (NPSS) will be an unregulated product; not least because of the potential impact this has on equivalent private pensions products.
Jeremy Ward, head of pensions marketing at Friends Provident was less ambivalent. Ward described the Turner report as a mixture of the blindingly obvious and unpalatable truths. He was also highly critical of Mr Turner’s proposed new savings scheme: The UK already has one of the most cost-effective private pensions models in the world. How will it be improved by the introduction of the National Pension Saving Scheme account?
The Government’s record on the development and implementation of large scale computer systems is poor and there is the potential for a high cost to the taxpayer with no additional benefit over that which could be achieved by combining existing products with automatic enrolment.