Pensions debate aims for consensus

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The Government, Lord Turner and the pensions industry will meet today to thrash out the details of a new work-based pension scheme, in an attempt to find a consensus ahead of the proposed White Paper.

Lord Turner, the chairman of the Pensions Commission, and John Hutton, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, will open the debate by championing the success in persuading the industry to agree to run a new scheme for half of the current stakeholder pensions cap.

However, Lord Turner will reiterate his belief that his proposed National Pensions Savings Scheme could be run for as little as 0.3 per cent a year. The Association of British Insurers has said it believes it could offer a similar system for between 0.6 and 0.7 per cent.

The National Association of Pension Funds hopes to win some support for its proposed system of Supertrusts, which it believes could be run for as little as 0.4 per cent a year.

Frank Field, the former Minister for Welfare Reform, will dismiss the plans and suggest the the Government should opt for a new "Universal Protected Pension" - a funded nationally defined benefit scheme, which would aim to provide a payout of between 20 and 25 per cent of average earnings.