Pensions — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:30 am on 12 December 2013.

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Photo of Lord Newby Lord Newby Lords Spokesperson (HM Treasury) (Whip), Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords) 11:30, 12 December 2013

There are obvious limits to what government and Parliament can do, but I have always believed that one of the very important things that Parliament can do is to act as the bully pulpit and set out what it thinks is the correct way of behaviour. In terms of the financial institutions we have instituted, as the noble Lord knows, a number of pieces of legislation in this area but, as the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards pointed out, culture is very important—that is, the culture of the industry and also of consumers. A big problem around pensions in particular is that virtually no consumer understands the product that they are buying, which makes it very difficult for us to get people to accept responsibility. They find it very difficult to get to grips with a pretty complicated product.