Hard sell out for pensions

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THE Government spent pounds 1.2m promoting the benefits of personal pensions in 1988, but it has spent only pounds 100,000 recently as doubts have grown about the policies.

John Denham, the Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, said this difference 'highlights the role that the Government has played in irresponsibly promoting personal pensions'.

Labour is using its parliamentary time today to draw attention to fears that up to 2.5 million people, mostly low earners, have wrongly opted out of the state earnings-related pension scheme.

Mr Denham, who received the information about advertising in an answer from William Hague, the pensions minister, said the earlier ads were 'unrestrained in their enthusiasm'. This month's campaign from the Department of Social Security was more circumspect, advising investors: 'Before you take out your personal pension, read the small print'.