The Conservative Party have hit out at plans by Labour to reform private pensions, saying they will make retirement less secure. A spokesperson said:
Nothing's changed. Labour are once again proposing to tax hardworking people's private pensions, they are prepared to cut the basic state pension and they have no long-term economic plan to secure Britain's future.
They would make people's retirement less secure all over again. It's the same old Labour.
In response to Labour's pension pledge, Pensions Minister Steve Webb said it was "incredible" that the party included no protection for workplace pension scheme members in its plans for automatic enrolment
"We will put that right," the Liberal Democrat added. "Simply offering access to a broker won't answer the big question of whether an annuity is right for them."
Labour has announced that it will ensure all savers get access to independent pensions advice to prevent the loss of up to £1 billion annually in retirement benefits, if the party is elected in 2015.
The average person could gain £400 a year if they were helped to shop around for the best deal when changing their pension fund to a regular retirement income, the party said.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves said the move would be part of a package of measures to prevent pensioners losing out, including action to expose "rip-off" fees and charges and imposing a 0.5% cap.