CA Summit 2008: Experts warn of one year delay to PAs

The scale of the work yet to be done in the run up to Personal Accounts will result in the new regime launching at least a year behind schedule, warn leading pension experts.

In a debate on the future of the group pensions market at the Corporate Adviser Summit, panellists expressed concern that the tenders for the contract to build the software system that will underpin the scheme are not being sent out until January.
A decision on a service provider is then expected to be made over the summer, leaving the contractor with just 18 months to build and test the system if the proposed 2012 launch date is to be met.

Tim Jones, chief executive of PADA said that the time schedule was achievable and explained that he planned to phase in take-up of the first tier of employer contributions over a period of 18 months, starting with bigger employers first.
Michael Whitfield, managing director at Thomsons Online Benefits said: “It is completely unfeasible and I have never heard of anything so destined for disaster before.”