The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says it will be scrutinising all Government legislation on personal accounts to ensure it doesn't provide any start-up subsidies.
Maggie Craig, ABI director of life and savings, says any financial help from the state would represent unfair competition.
However, Craig says the ABI is pleased with reassurances by Paul Myners, chair of the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (PADA), that schemes will target low to middle earners.
Pensions Minister Mike O’Brien last week pledged the Government would not be providing any financial help to personal accounts providers.
But Maggie Craig warns the ABI will be keeping a close eye on all relevant legislation in the year leading up to the introduction of personal accounts in 2012.
“We are pleased that Paul Myners has reiterated assurances given by the Government, and we look forward to them being confirmed in legislation,” she says.
“Personal accounts must be clearly focused on the target market of low and middle earners.
“We believe that any state subsidy to personal accounts represents unfair competition, and we will be scrutinising relevant legislation carefully on this issue.”
Craig says “concrete” proposals concerning automatic enrolment into the schemes must be produced sooner rather than later.
“The most important challenge is that of automatic enrolment into WPPs, to help employers increase participation in their existing good schemes, and we are working hard with the DWP to find a viable solution.
“Concrete proposals are needed soon. Paul Myners' hope that we can do this must become a reality, or the fundamental aim of this set of pension reforms - to get more savers, saving more - will not be achieved.”
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