DWP facing calls for an independent body to control NEST pension scheme

By Matthew Thompson | 12th July 2013 | 7 min read

The government is facing calls to distance itself from NEST and let an independent body control the trust once the restrictions on it are lifted in 2017.

Last week we wrote about how NEST, the government backed pension scheme which has been established in preparation for automatic enrolment, will have certain restrictions lifted in 2017, after auto enrolment has been fully rolled out.

Pensions Minister Steve Webb announced last week that the £4,500 annual contribution cap and ban on transfers in and out of NEST would be lifted after the legislation had been successfully introduced.

Director of customer solutions at auto enrolment scheme The People’s Pension, Jamie Fiveash, said that the government’s control of NEST would create an “obvious conflict of interest”. This was due to the fact that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are setting auto enrolment policy but will naturally want NEST to be successful.

The fear from independent suppliers seems to be that once NEST is subject to the same rules as privately ran pensions, there could be a bias towards the government backed scheme which needs to be removed to level the playing field.

A spokesperson for DWP said that decisions about the communications and management of NEST after restrictions are lifted would be made “nearer the time”.

Do you think NEST should have its pricing handed over to an independent body after the restrictions are lifted or do you think it should be left to the government to decide?

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