NESTS - Personal Accounts


Times 'Thunderer': We must end these rip off fees
18 December 2014
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The Times published an article by Ros in the 'Thunderer' column calling for an end to rip-off pension charges


Altmann welcomes rise in pension saving - StockMarketWire
31 October 2014
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StockMarketWire highlighted Ros' views on the latest Pension Trends figures showing a rise in pension scheme membership after many years of decline and explaining that auto-enrolment coupled with the new pension reforms should ensure large increases in pension scheme membership in future.


Private sector, women and self employed lag behind in pension coverage but auto enrolment has increased pension membership
30 October 2014
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Ros comments on the latest ONS Pension Trends figures which show a rise in membership of private pension schemes for the first time this century, but reveal a low rate of membership among the self employed and women in the private sector.


Why are so many older workers rejecting free money?
29 September 2014
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Pensions World article highlighting my thoughts on the need to encourage more older workers to remain auto-enrolled, because opting out means they are rejecting free money. The new rules should allow most to benefit from pension saving in future.


Too many older workers opting out of autoenrolment and rejecting free money
28 September 2014
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Ros comments on the latest data showing that over 50s are the largest group opting out of auto-enrolment and points out that the pension reforms make pensions much more suitable for older workers.


Professional Pensions - the good and bad about Collective DC schemes
2 June 2014
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Professional Pensions highlights Ros' views on the advantages and disadvantages of CDC schemes


CityAM article - Making long term saving work for everyone
30 May 2014
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Ros wrote an article published in CityAM supporting calls for consideration of auto-enroling more low-paid workers, but perhaps ensuring they have more flexibility in their savings vehicles at work


Pension charges - Don't be lulled into a false sense of security
18th February 2014
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Ros explains why pension charges need to be capped, even though the latest auto-enrolment schemes seem to have lower fees. Workers in small firms need protecting if their employers cannot negotiate good terms.


Pension charge cap delay is sensible
17 January 2014
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Steve Webb's announcement that a cap on pension fund charges will not be rushed through for April 2014 is welcome and sensible says Ros


Response to DWP charges consultation
28 November 2013
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Ros submitted a response to the DWP consultation on pension fund charges


Pension charges need to take account of annuity costs, not just AMC
28 November 2013
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Ros explains why she believes that driving down charges too far could dumb down pensions and that controls on annuity charges and value for money is far more important than whether AMCs are 0.5% or 0.75%.


Capping charges on auto-enrolment ignores the bigger picture
11 November 2013
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Ros explains why the focus on charge caps for auto-enrolment pension schemes is not enough to ensure good value for customers. NEST's own charging structure and the excessive fees on annuities are also important issues to address.


Auto-enrolment one year on
1 October 2013
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On the first anniversary of auto-enrolment, Ros explains that the easy part of the reform is behind us, but there are huge challenges ahead


Employers should prepare early for auto enrolment challenges
1 October 2013
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Stock Market Wire highlighted Ros' warnings that employers will need to prepare early for the challenges of auto-enrolment


When’s Nest best? Auto-enrolment advice under the microscope
October 2013
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Ros' interview on Citywire highlighting that advisers have big role to play in helping employers set up auto-enrolment (from 3 minutes in)


Charge cap should fit NEST too
18 September 2013
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The FT's Financial Adviser magazine highlighted Ros' views that a charge cap on auto-enrolment schemes should apply to NEST as well, with its 1.8% initial charge being replaced by an annual charge


NEST charges need overhaul
18 September 2013
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Article on Stock Market Wire website commenting on Ros' calls for NEST charges to be overhauled, to get rid of the 1.8% initial charge


OFT inquiry on pension charges
17 September 2013
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Ros responds to the OFT report on pension charges, highlighting that the recommendations may well disappoint those who wanted action, but that NEST's charging structure does not fit well with a cap


Auto-enrolment opt outs low, will rise in future though
8 August 2013
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Ros welcomes the DWP figures showing low opt out rates for auto enrolment so far, but discusses why these rates are likely to rise as smaller firms join the project in future.


Autoenrolment - so far so good
8 August 2013
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Ros wrote an article for CityAM discussing latest figures showing opt out rates from auto enrolment to be very low so far.


Pensions World article - NEST restrictions should be lifted before 2017
10 July 2013
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Pensions World Magazine published Ros' views on the announcement that NEST restrictions would be lifted in 2017, explaining why it would be much better to remove them earlier.


NEST restrictions being lifted - good news, But not till 2017 - bad news
9 July 2013
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Ros welcomes the removal of NEST restrictions but explains why they should ideally be removed before 2017, to give NEST a fairer chance to compete and for taxpayers to receive quicker repayment of their loan.


Great news - Government will ban consultancy charging
10 May 2013
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Press Release welcoming the Governments decision to improve member protection in auto-enrolment pensions by banning consultancy charging and planning a cap on default fund fees.


Pensions World - failure of regulation could derail autoenrolment
26 April 2013
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Ros comments on the dangers for workers of the current regulatory gaps and calls for a better, simpler regulatory regime - just one for all pensions.


Workers need better protection in auto-enrolment
25 April 2013
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2013 - Ros' views were highlighted on StockMArketWire, explaining how workers are not properly protected against unfair charges and poor regulation in auto-enrolment.


Employers must act now on auto enrolment
25 April 2013
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Ros wrote an Expert View column for the JC highlighting the urgency of employers starting to plan for pensions auto-enrolment.


Work and Pensions Select Committee calls for better regulation in auto-enrolment
24 April 2013
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Ros explains what we might expect from the White Paper announcing the flat-rate state pension reforms.


Consumer perspectives on Retirement Income Options
23 April 2013
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Ros spoke at a Wealth at Work seminar about Retirement Income Options and how consumers need help in assessing what is most suitable for them.


Ripped-off Britons - Guardian cartoons on consultancy charging
13 Aprl 2013
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The Guardian's 'Ripped off Britons' cartoon section used Ros' views on consultancy charging to highlight the problems faced by workers forcibly paying for advice to their employers, from unregulated unqualified 'consultants'. She calls for the Government to stop or cap the charges.


Another pension scandal brewing - end consultancy charging now
23 March 2013
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Press Release explaining the scandal of consultancy charging and commenting on the Which? mystery shopping exercise which confirms the need to ban these unfair member fees.


Next Steps for Auto-enrolment - Westminster Employment Forum conference
12 February 2013
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Ros spoke at the WEF conference explaining her concerns about the future of auto-enrolment and the need to remove NEST restrictions, simplify the processes and also to take more notice of the annuities risks in decumulation


NEST restrictions must be lifted straight away - don't delay
11 February 2013
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Ros welcomes the DWP Select Committee recommendations that lifting of NEST restrictions is urgent and failure to do so will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.


Response to Call for Evidence on Nest Restrictions
28 January 2013
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Ros submitted evidence to the DWP on removing the restrictions on NEST, calling for the restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible to allow NEST to compete better with the rest of the marketplace


Removing Restrictions on NEST would be great for auto-enrolment and taxpayers
6 November 2012
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Ros welcomes the consultation on removing NEST restrictions.


Removing NEST restrictions would be sensible
5 November 2012
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Ros comments on DWP consultation paper discussing removing NEST restrictions. Ros believes removing restrictions is essential to make NEST sustainable, repay taxpayer loan and ensure it can compete effectively.


City AM: Auto-enrolment needs to foster a broader savings culture
27 September 2012
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Article published in City AM explaining the dangers of auto-enrolment and the need for flexibility in savings policy.


Moneywise TV - Is it still worth saving in a pension
24 October 2012
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Ros' interview on Moneywise TV explaining the pitfalls for pension savers and the need to consider alternatives to saving only in the inflexible pension product


Pension membership at record low
19 September 2012
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Press Release commenting on latest ONS figures showing pension scheme members has fallen to record lows, lowest since 1953.


How can we make pensions more popular?
7 September 2012
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Evening Standard article outlining Ros' views on the need to make pensions more 'user-friendly' and promote the value of pensions.


Get ready for the pensions revolution
31 August 2012
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Article by Ros published in the JC explaining that we will all need to think about pensions as auto-enrolment starts.


Government needs to incentivise workplace financial advice
2 August 2012
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Ros comments on a report from the CIPD and calls for incentives for employers to provide workplace advice on financial planning.


DWP says auto-enrolment makes pensions better
1 August 2012
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Ros comments on the latest DWP report suggesting that those auto-enrolled into pensions will have much better retirement incomes.


Will auto enrolment solve the pensions crisis
June 2012
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Ros wrote a feature for the Actuarial Post supplement on auto enrolment, explaining that this policy will not be sufficient to overcome the pensions crisis, but it is a start.


What Auto-enrolment is all about
22 May 2012
view PowerPoint presentation (pdf, 354kb)

Ros gave a keynote speech at the Xafinity seminar on auto-enrolment explaining her views on what auto-enrolment is all about and that we might need broader thinking on later life saving.


Work and Pensions Select Committee Report must be taken seriously
15 March 2012
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Ros highlights the recommendations of the Work and Pensions Commons Select Committee and calls for lifting restrictions on NEST, as well as state pension reform


Pensions needs more flexibility
25 January 2012
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Press Release explaining why the inflexibility of pensions is leaving many savers with nothing - using ISAs may be better than only pensions.


Ros on Pensions Radio
December 2011
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Ros was the first guest to be interviewed on Steve Bee's new JargonFreeRadio channel.


Pensions Minister 'Webb-Chat', Ros interviews Steve Webb
8 November 2011
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A Saga 'Webb-Chat' with Ros interviewing Pensions Minister Steve Webb about his time in office, his achievements so far and hopes for future policy.


NEST and auto-enrolment dangerous in current system
16 August 2010
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Press Release highlighting Ros' views on auto-enrolment, explaining the dangers and recommending NEST be put on hold until the problems are addressed.


Response to DWP auto-enrolment/NEST review
13 August 2010
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Ros' formal written response to DWP review of NEST and auto-enrolment, recommending putting NEST on hold, reforming the state pension first and then auto-enrolling into existing schemes first.


Steve Webb for Pensions Minister - brilliant
14 May 2010
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Press Release welcoming the appointment of Steve Webb as the new Pensions Minister.


NESTs will need at least £1.5billion taxpayer loan
21 April 2010
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Citywire article highlighting Ros' estimates of the taxpayer costs of NESTs.


Retirement Radio - NESTs are not safe
April 2010
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Ros was interviewed by Steve Bee for Citywire's Retirement Radio - discussion of pensions policy, including comments that NESTs will be a disaster - beware!


Nic Cicutti coming round to my skepticism on NESTs
25 March 2010
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Support for Ros' views about the dangers of NESTs from leading journalist Nic Cicutti in his weekly Money Marketing column.


NESTs will be a disaster
21 March 2010
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Daily Telegraph article quoting Ros' views that NESTs have disaster written all over them, especially after the 2% upfront charge.


NESTs - call me cynical but this scheme has disaster written all over it
17 March 2010
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Article in the Times quoting Ros criticizing the 2% initial charge for NEST pensions, which means low earners will lose a chunk of their pension from the word go. This was supposed to be a low cost scheme!


The future for workplace pensions after 2012
18 March 2010
view PowerPoint presentation (pdf, 96kb)

Keynote presentation at University of East Anglia's forum on Workplace Pension Reform.


FSA drawdown fears ignore annuity risks
16 March 2010
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Ros' comments following the FSAs report on Financial Risk, highlighting that the FSA seems to believe annuities are a 'no risk' product, whereas, in reality, they entail significant risks for purchasers who do not understand what they are buying. Click here to read the article on the Citywire website.


Retirement Strategy Feature
March 2010
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Ros was interviewed by Money Marketing's Retirement Strategy magazine and her views on pension reform are highlighted. Click here to read the article on the Money Marketing website.


Yorkshire Post - A dangerous cuckoo in the NEST
14 January 2010
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Yorkshire Post comment article explaining why Ros believes that the new name for Personal Accounts - the NEST - does not make the policy any more suitable for those it is aimed at and warning of the dangers. Click here to read the article on the Yorkshire Post's website.


NESTs ignore annuities - but pension outcomes are vital
11 January 2010
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Ros wrote a blog for Citywire explaining the dangers for individuals auto-enrolled into NESTs. When they come to retire, nobody has thought through the annuity risks they face. Click here to read the article on the Citywire website.


The fundamental flaw in the Government's grand plan
11 January 2010
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Citywire blog warning of the dangers that NEST/Personal Account projections have not properly consider annuity risks. Falling annuity rates can undermine the value of the NEST for many workers. Click here to read the article on the Citywire website.


Empty NESTs and cracked eggs
8 January 2010
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Press Release commenting on the Government's new name for personal accounts - NESTs - but explaining that many people's NESTs will be empty and their nest-eggs cracked.


Personal accounts will be disastrous for pensions
November 2009
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Ros outlines her views on the dangers of personal accounts and how the outlook for pensions will probably be worse, not better, as a result.


Personal accounts should be abandoned, not delayed
9 September 2009
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Press Release commenting on recently announced delay to implementation of personal accounts, calling for a radical rethink because personal accounts are more likely to make pension provision worse, rather than better.


Beware of personal accounts - reconsider before it's too late
September 2009
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Feature article for Financial Adviser outlining Ros' view that personal accounts are more likely to make pension provision worse, as employers cut back from existing contributions and means testing makes pensions unsuitable for the target group of low earners.


Yorkshire Post op-ed: Pensions – we all face a poorer future
9 April 2009
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Op-ed published in Yorkshire Post explaining the dangers of employers cutting pension contributions and the Government's personal accounts encouraging further cutbacks in future. This is a pay cut today, will be a pension cut tomorrow and will mean delayed retirement or pensioner poverty in future.


Whitewash report on personal accounts and means testing
9 February 2009
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Press Release critiquing the Governments report which claims to show that saving in personal accounts will make almost everyone better off. Ros suggests the conclusions are misleading, ignore the employer contribution, are highly dependent on over-optimistic assumptions and that the report does not stand up to proper scrutiny.


CII Thinkpiece on personal accounts and annuities advice
May 2008
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Article published by Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) giving Ros' views on why generic advice for personal accounts will not work, but it could be very helpful for annuities.


Dangers of Personal Accounts
May 2008
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Ros outlines why she believes introduction of personal accounts is likely to worsen pension provision in the UK and could prove very dangerous.


Letter published in FT on personal accounts reform
7th November 2007
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Letter published in Financial Times explaining why the proposed Personal Accounts pension reforms are dangerous for lower earners and the interaction with means testing must be properly addressed now.


Inadequate protection for personal accounts
December 2006
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Exchange of letters in Daily Telegraph warning that the lack of proper consumer protection for the new personal accounts poses real dangers for future disasters and claims for mis-selling that may lead to another scandal.


Financial Adviser feature on the proposed new personal pension accounts
December 2006
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Feature explaining why Ros thinks the proposed personal accounts should not be introduced and that they are likely to worsen pension provision in the UK – and also may lead to pensions being bought by those for whom they are not suitable.


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