The Department for Work and Pensions is considering an outright ban on consultancy charges on pensions which are borne by members.
In an evidence session with the work and pensions committee, Webb addressed issues around the transparency of consultancy charges levied on employees in a workplace scheme and said an outright ban on consultancy cost borne by members is an option.
"Most big firms staged in October and auto-enrolled in January, and the retail distribution review only started in January, so we are learning right now how it is going to work," Webb said.
"Charges can't be justified if the member does not benefit. Charges won't go away but they need to be transparent."
Webb said his demand to the Association of British Insurers to demonstrate that consultancy charges on workplace schemes are value for money is progressing well (PP Online 27 November 2012).
DWP head of private pensions policy and analysis Bridget Micklem added: "We have already seen 25 providers and advisers and we are engaging with employers on consultancy charges.
"We need to know what people are putting in the pot called ‘consultancy'; it is quite a job to unpick that.
"We need clarification quickly and we are going for a decision in the spring."
Committee chair Anne Begg said: "You could just ban member-borne consultancy charges."
Webb responded: "Indeed we could. We need to get under the skin of it."
As first reported on IFAonline's sister title Professional Pensions.
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