Schedule 1

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of James Plaskitt James Plaskitt Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions 12:00 pm, 5th February 2008

No, I am not going to set a target—that would not be the right thing to do. Having read the Turner report, the hon. Member for Ryedale will understand why Lord Turner thinks that 0.3 per cent. is achievable. He is right to say that the charging level of the structure is critical to the success of the scheme at launch point. We need to have it launched in a context  in which information on the charges shows quite clearly that they are a lot lower than alternative commercial schemes.

The hon. Member for Ryedale also knows that charge levels have a big impact on the kind of money that these schemes can release at the end when people come to decumulate. Across a lifetime, the scheme has a big impact. There will no doubt be a lot of debate and discussion about that at the point of launch. Therefore, it is essential that any comparison that is made clearly demonstrates that the charge structure is favourable compared with the alternatives. It would not be sensible to go beyond that. Turner’s argument in support of 0.3 per cent. is well known. Provided that all the launch processes are correct and all other aspects are sorted out, one would hope that such a charge level would be achievable. With those reassurances, I hope that the hon. Member for Eastbourne will agree to withdraw the amendment.