OFT unveils legacy scheme charges review team

The OFT has appointed Carol Sergeant to the role of chair of the independent board set up to oversee the audit of high cost and legacy defined contribution workplace pension schemes.

Carol Sergeant

The Independent Project Board (IPB) has been set up in the wake of the OFT’s September 2013 report that identified around £30bn of savings in pre-2001 and other high charging contract and bundled-trust pension schemes. The OFT has also named nine other high profile figures from key pensions stakeholders who will also sit on the IPB.

The Association of British Insurers and its members agreed to undertake an audit of these schemes that will be overseen by, and report into, an Independent Project Board (IPB). The role of the IPB will be to agree the terms of reference for the audit, scrutinise the results and agree what industry-level actions are needed to address schemes not assessed as value for money.

The audit is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.

Aegon managing director of workplace solutions Angela Seymour Jackson says: “The audit of older and higher charging workplace Defined Contribution pensions will bring full clarity to areas where the OFT couldn’t reach conclusions. Importantly, it will give customers further reassurance that their workplace pension, old or new, is offering value for money.
“Importantly, the audit must identify any valuable features that scheme members benefit from, as well as reviewing charges in detail. This will make sure members don’t lose out from a blanket application of any price cap introduced by the DWP.”

The IPB’s membership includes senior representatives from government, the regulators, consumer enforcement, finance and the OFT:

  • Carol Sergeant, Independent Chair
  • Michelle Cracknell, The Pensions Advisory Service 
  • David Hare, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries 
  • Bridget Micklem, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Nick Poyntz-Wright, Financial Conduct Authority
  • Joanne Segars, the National Association of Pension Funds Limited
  • Ed Smith, Office of Fair Trading
  • Doug Taylor, member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, the EIOPA occupational pensions stakeholder group and Nest’s Members’ Panel
  • Otto Thoresen, Association of British Insurers 
  • Andrew Warwick-Thompson, The Pensions Regulator