The government "will not come to a firm answer" on the question of small pension pot consolidation despite an industry-wide consultation on the issue initiated by pensions minister Steve Webb.
The pensions minister said the Department for Work and Pensions response to the consultation - due shortly - will narrow down options and indicate a "direction of travel" for dealing with small pots, but will not put forward any specific proposals.
"We need to find a way we can walk before we can run," Webb told the Association of British Insurers' Future of Savings and Retirement Income conference today.
He said the DWP will continue to focus on the small pots created during auto-enrolment which are the "simplest and easiest to move".
Webb added the issue of small pots is an opportunity for wider engagement, and said the government's response will be published shortly.
The DWP published its consultation on dealing with small pots, Meeting future workplace pension challenges: improving transfers and dealing with small pension pots, last year.
It proposed two methods of consolidating the thousands of pots which are expected to be created by auto-enrolment.
One option was to allow pension pots to follow members automatically to their new occupational scheme when they switch jobs. The other option would see small pots automatically transferred into a third party aggregator when workers move jobs.
Several industry bodies, including the National Association of Pension Funds, the Association of Consulting Actuaries and the Society of Pension Consultants, said in their responses to the consultation that they favoured the third party aggregator approach, despite the model presenting several administrative problems.
National Employment Savings Trust's chief executive Tim Jones has suggested NEST could be used as an aggregator vehicle.
Some organisations such as Standard Life have suggested that a third party aggregator need not involve pots physically being transferred into one savings vehicle.
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