Consumer groups are "extremely concerned" about the government's decision to pursue a pot-follows-worker approach to pension consolidation.
Age UK, the TUC and Which? issued a joint statement this afternoon highlighting the risks the plan poses to workers who transfer to an employer with a poorer quality pension scheme.
They also said there are practical issues to consider as workers do not move from job to job in a uniform way.
The statement comes after pensions minister Steve Webb backed the idea that a pension pot should follow a worker as they change jobs throughout their career.
The alternative, a small pension pot aggregator scheme, was not endorsed by the government.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber (pictured) said the consultation response was very disappointing.
"At the heart of the new auto-enrolment approach to pensions is meant to be a system that uses inertia to deliver a good outcome. But ‘pot follows member' is not just an administrative nightmare but takes us back to a discredited buyer beware market model," he added.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said: "One of the most important things people need to do is save for their retirement and government policy needs to make sure that every penny counts. That's why we're disappointed at the government's wish to adopt a ‘pot follows member' approach which could mean people end up in poor value schemes which have a detrimental effect years down the line.
"The government now needs to make sure that all eligible schemes are of a high quality and that consumers will be protected from excessive transfer fees."
Michelle Mitchell charity director general at Age UK added: "We don't believe that a ‘pot follows member' approach will work well for those who move jobs often, who need to take career breaks or hold more than one job - the very people most at risk of having a poor retirement income.
"Pensioner poverty is still a very real problem in today's society and to break the cycle we must ensure that future retirees get off to the best start when saving for their future."
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