The Labour party's proposal to phase in employers' contributions to personal accounts until 2016 "undermines" the whole project, the Conservatives say.
Speaking at Politeia's anniversary address 2009, the Conservative work and pensions spokeswoman Theresa May said the current government's proposal for phasing in employers' contributions meant it would very likely take until 2016 to reach the full 3%.
She said: "The employer contribution could be 1% for a few years - as late as 2015. A slow start such as this could undermine the project."
May said if the Conservative party was elected it would introduce personal accounts on a voluntary basis before 2012, with an opt-out option, in order to prevent discrepancies before it was fully introduced.
However, she warned the introduction of personal accounts would create problems with levelling down, increased administration costs.
May also vowed not to ignore the growing disparity between public and private sector pensions.
She said the Tories would conduct an audit of public sector schemes to get a clearer estimate on the liabilities, but pointed out it was important accrued benefits must be protected.
May also promised the party would end compulsory annuitisation at age 75.
She also said the Tories' would renew the culture of responsible saving in the UK in order to address the £27bn savings gap. She said the party was looking at implementing a free national financial advice service involving telephone and face-to-face advice.
She estimated this would cost £50m per year and would be funded through a Financial Services Authority social responsibility levy.
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