UK – A Member of Parliament for the ruling Labour Party has said the National Association of Pension Funds is “scared stiff” of the Pension Commission’s proposed new National Pension Savings Scheme.

“I am sure, many other members have been, by the Association of British Insurers, the National Association of Pension Funds and others who are just vested interests scared stiff that if NPSS or anything similar comes about, they will lose business,” Bradford North MP Terry Rooney said in a debate last night.

“They have little concern for the individual and the consumer, and are much more concerned about what is happening to their business. Within the benchmarks and costings, however, they can bid against anyone else for the investment management programme.

NAPF chief executive Christine Farnish told IPE last night that the association is close to unveiling its own proposals in response to a challenge laid down by pensions minister Stephen Timms. She declined to go into detail, but was critical of Turner’s “big government” idea for the NPSS.

The Association of Consulting Actuaries has expressed “considerable disquiet” about the NPSS plan. It said the scheme “could undermine existing (and better) occupational arrangements and will throw investment risk - which represents a huge variable - 100% on employees”.

Former pensions minister Frank Field told the House of Commons that the Pensions Commission report was “not fit for purpose in three significant ways”.

He said the commission ignores a “golden opportunity” for serious, long-term pension reform.

“Secondly, it does not examine the dangers to long-term security for pensioners posed by the proposed measures. Thirdly, the proposals simply will not last politically.”

He added: “My disappointment with the Pensions Commission report is that it fiddles around with the furniture, which the Chancellor said he was not happy to do.”