Capping could damage pensions savings

24 May 2007
The introduction of personal pensions accounts could cut back retirees' pensions savings, a survey from Which? has warned.

Government plans for the National Pensions Savings Scheme, to launch in 2012, include a cap on the maximum contribution pensioners can make to their personal accounts of £3,000.

But 42 per cent of people surveyed said they thought the upper limit should rise to at least £5,000.

Meanwhile, only 12 per cent of people likely to be affected by the scheme agreed that the level of contribution individuals and employers can make should be given an upper bound at all.

More than half said the strain of opening an additional pensions account to house any additional savings on top of their personal account contributions could deter them from saving for retirement altogether.

"The absolute priority must be a scheme that is designed to enable people to save in line with their aspirations for a comfortable retirement," said Emma Higginson, personal finance campaigner.

But allowing companies to pay more into basic personal accounts could mean they scale down the contributions they make to existing in-house schemes, financial commentators have stressed.

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