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ABI calls for more transparency over pension costs

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has outlined proposals to give UK retirees a clearer picture of pension charges.

Criticism has been aimed at pension providers for failing to disclose a number of ‘hidden’ costs associated with pension plans.

The ABI has called for a new disclosure agreement, which will give members of private or company pensions a full breakdown of pension charges, to be ready by the end of the year. The "protocol" will also include the cost of buying and selling shares.

Otto Thoresen, director general of the ABI, said: "We must ensure that information on charges and costs is available, clear and meaningful, and helps employees make the right decisions about their pension."

"For too long, different parts of the private pensions system, regulated by two different regulators, has given employees too little information about what they are paying.

"Openness and transparency are now expected by customers, so we all have to do better," he said.

ABI has written to both the Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Unit of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), with the following proposals:

The news was welcomed by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), which have campaigned for these changes. Darren Philp of the NAPF, said:

"New rules could see up to eight million people automatically enrolled into a pension, many for the first time. If they're to stick with that pension then they must be able to gauge whether they're getting a good deal.”

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