DWP unveils new personal accounts scheme

15 June 2007
The government's new personal pensions savings scheme should "kick-start a new culture of retirement saving", work and pensions secretary John Hutton has said.

The new "simple, low cost pension with a contribution from their employer" would help pensions savers "overcome the inertia" that seems to affect many, Mr Hutton commented.

A government-sponsored survey has revealed that a third of people have never contributed to a private pension, while almost as many again would prioritise spending now over saving for tomorrow.

But automatic enrolment would help those who are not aware of the benefits of pensions saving benefit regardless, the minister suggested.

Research has uncovered strong support from employees for the idea of automatic enrolment on the scheme, approved by 68 per cent of people.

The new pensions scheme targets low to moderate earners, emphasised minister for pension reform James Purnell, noting that "it is important that Personal Accounts complements rather than competes with existing high quality pension provision".

Consumer group Which? welcomed the pensions shake-up for focusing "on the needs of the consumer".

According to government estimates, between six and ten million people in the UK will benefit from the new scheme.

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