OFT: Wise to check value for money over pensions

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The OFT has made a string of recommendations to shake up the pensions market to make sure millions of new savers get value for money. Photo: PA Wire

Saving into a pension is the right thing to do, we're told. As many as nine million more of us are likely to do so in the next few years as more workers are enrolled automatically into pension schemes through their employer.

But according to the Office for Fair Trading, you would be extremely wise when doing that to check that you are really going to get value for your money.

Their report today into the industry makes two main points - that big schemes that have been up and running for years are not good value for money - high charges to leave the scheme for example, trap consumers in pensions that might not get very good returns.

And some smaller schemes, run by trusts, might not be giving savers a good deal because they are not run very well.

It matters not just because it affects the long term savings of more than four million people, but because the numbers saving in this way is about to expand enormously as automatic enrollment takes off.

It's surprising then to some that given the importance of the industry and the OFT's clear concerns that they have haven't called for a cap on charges so far, and the job of auditing what is going on is being given to the Association of British Insurers, who represent many of the pension schemes themselves.