'Consumer interests' at heart of pensions scheme

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Consumer interests will form the basis for government proposals on a system of personal pensions saving accounts, secretary of state for work and pensions John Hutton said today.

Personal Accounts will be trust-based occupation schemes, run by trustees who would be legally obliged to manage the fund's assets so as they benefit its members to the greatest extent possible.

And members will have their chance to influence the running of the scheme - through the introduction of a Member's Panel, to which employees across the UK will be enrolled when they become eligible in 2012.

"Personal accounts will be the biggest step forward for workers seeking to build up a pension since National Insurance was introduced in the 1940s," Mr Hutton told the National Association of Pension Funds conference in Manchester.

"But if we are to make them a success for the millions of people who currently aren't saving for a pension, we must put in place measures to ensure they have the interests of future members at their heart.

"Protecting the interests of members underpins our decision to establish the scheme as a trust-based occupational pension. As such they will face the very same level of regulation as all other trust-based occupational schemes."

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