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Turner’s “Britsaver” remains controversial

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05/04/2006

Experts remain divided over the introduction of a National Pension Saving Scheme (NPSS) proposed by Lord Turner to encourage pension provision.

Following the publication of the third report from the Pensions Commission, led by Lord Turner, many experts are still concerned about the introduction of the scheme – dubbed the Britsaver – which would see company employees automatically enrolled into the NPSS unless they chose to opt out.

Under the proposals, employees, employers, and the taxman would contribute to a Government operated scheme.

However the National Association of Pensions Funds has warned that such a fund would rely too much on Government bureaucracy, and it has urged the Government to allow the industry to run the fund instead.

NAPF chief executive Christine Farnish, said: “A single NPSS run by a government appointed body, responsible for a complex new computer system and the design of a lifestyle fund into which many millions of people will be defaulted, is not the best way.”

It instead wants a model run by the industry, and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) claims it would be able to run such a model.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s director general, said: “The pensions industry has the experience and infrastructure to operate a new savings scheme based on automatic enrolment and employer contributions, without the risks and costs of a new state organisation.”

It remains to be seen whether the government will push forward with Turner’s proposed pensions reforms, however the Government has claimed it is nearing a consensus on the way forward.

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