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DWP eyes separate Personal Accounts body

UK - The Department of Work and Pensions is looking at a separate delivery authority to implement the planned Personal Accounts pensions scheme, according to a top official.

Phil Wynn Owen, director general for strategy and pensions at the DWP, was speaking at today's National Association for Pension Funds. He spoke about the uncertainty about how the scheme, planned for early next year, should be set up and implemented.

Either the government itself or a special delivery authority will need to decide on for instance which model and scheme set-up should be chosen, and on industry and employer policy.

"We are thinking about a delivery authority for the Personal Accounts scheme that might come in to make these decision," he outlined.

Currently, there are two delivery options for Personal Accounts proposed in the White Paper - a single National Pensions Saving Scheme (NPSS) or the so-called ‘Industry Model' based around competing financial services companies.

"It is not a case of the industry model versus the NPSS model," but questions should be raised about who does what, said Wynn Owen.

In a review on the new scheme it appeared that the investment industry typically favours the NPSS, whereas the insurance industry favours a provider based system, using existing branded administrators, but also hybrid models have been suggested, he added.

Furthermore, he argued that "choice is desirable for consumers, but how much choice?"

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