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

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Pension holders fail to disclose hidden charges

Pension providers may be able to keep policy holders in the dark about little-known pension charges, despite a code being drawn up to end this practice.

In 2010, The Daily Telegraph revealed that a series of hidden levies and charges could act to devalue a private pension by tens of thousands of pounds.

Although the pensions industry is currently in the process of creating a code that will require pension fund managers to disclose charges such as annual fees to savers, an exemption in the draft code may mean that the bid for greater transparency may be hampered.

An early draft of the code outlines that pension fund managers would not have to disclose details of “transaction costs” - fees that money managers charge when they buy or sell shares using pension holders’ cash.

The draft code outlines that transaction fees “should not be regarded as a charge” according to a spokesman for the National Association of Pension Funds.

It goes on to stipulate that the final code should provide a way to include these fees. However, it does highlight that these costs are hard to measure upfront as they can vary on an annual basis.

Pensions Minister Steve Webb recently reaffirmed the government’s commitment to tackling the problem of hidden fees:  “I remain determined to make sure that every pound that [savers] put aside is turned into the maximum possible amount of pension.

“And if further measures are needed to clamp down on charges, then we will not hesitate to take them.”

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