LETTER : Investors pay for personal pensions

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From Mr R. A. J. Waddingham

Sir: Your leader (19 April) on pensions fails to criticise the Government for its part in the mis-selling of personal pensions. Sir Norman Fowler's introduction of personal pensions in 1988 (incidentally they were not new - we already had them under a different name - retirement annuity policies) encouraged many people to leave, or not to join, company schemes.

You overlook the press's own role. Much advice was misleading. Indeed your leader perpetuates the myth that people who expect to change jobs during their career are not best suited to company pension schemes. This is not the case. Generally, any employee offered membership of a company pension scheme should accept with alacrity even if he thinks he might not stay long in that job.

If he leaves within two years he gets back his own contributions and will have lost nothing. If in the event he stays in the scheme at least two years he will also keep the benefit of the employer's contributions, a distinct advantage.

Yours sincerely,


Chalfont St Peter,