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The Difference Between The Best And Worst Pension Incomes Can Be Very Surprising

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DWP decision may lead to a ‘pensions lottery’

A decision by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that pension pots will follow employees when they change jobs, has been criticised by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), who argue that the move may effectively create a ‘pensions lottery’.

The DWP argued that it opted for ‘pot follows member’ as this proved to be the most popular option amongst savers, according to ABI research, and because of the scheme’s potential for reducing charges. The decision could act to halve the number of dormant pension pots by 2050.

However, the NAPF has voiced concerns that some pension holders may lose out when policy is transferred. Chief executive Joanne Segars said:

“While the Government’s idea is one way to solve the problem of small pots, it does not tackle the risk that people might see their pension transferred to a worse scheme with higher charges and weaker governance. There is a real risk of a pensions lottery where people could be automatically transferred into better or worse schemes without them being aware of the impact.”

The NAPF has calculated that if a pension pot of around £10,000, with an annual management charge (AMC) of 0.5%, was moved into a pension with an AMC of 0.9%, the pension holder will have 10% or £1,500 shaved off their pension pot after 25 years.

Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb, said:

"We need a system where people build up worthwhile pension pots in one place rather than having lots of small pots all over the place.  But at the moment every time someone moves to a new job there is a risk that they leave behind a small pension pot which they lose track of. Our plans will mean that individuals get better value for their savings and bigger pensions as a result.”

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