State will be `mis-selling pensions'

THE GOVERNMENT'S "chaotic" proposals for pension reform would be the "mother and father" of all pensions mis-selling scandals, the Tories said yesterday.

Iain Duncan Smith, the shadow Social Security Secretary, warned that plans outlined in the Green Paper on pension reform last December would lead pensioners to follow government advice and join the stakeholder schemes even if they were not necessarily the "best or cheapest" investment.

Speaking during a Tory-led debate, he said: "Anyone who has to make decisions about long-term saving will be confused about what to do and will need advice, but they will have to pay for it. The public will turn around and say, `Were we not mis-sold this?'"

His concerns were echoed by Frank Field, the former Social Security minister, who said there were "big question marks over whether we have got the reform right".

Speaking after the Lifetime Individual Savings Account (Lisa) plans were unveiled, Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Social Security, said: "What we want to do is to give pensioners flexibility. There are people who move around a lot more than in the past."