A panel of pension experts has been appointed to carry out the audit of high cost and legacy defined contribution (DC) workplace schemes, prompted by last year's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation.
Carol Sergeant will act as the panel's independent chairman. She will be assisted by Nick Poyntz-Wright from the Financial Conduct Authority, The Pensions Advisory Service's chief executive Michelle Cracknell and boss of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Otto Thoresen.
It found about £30bn of savings are trapped in pre-2001 pension schemes which give poor value for money. It also said other high charging and bundled-trust pension schemes may not be achieving proper value for money for savers.
In response, the ABI and its members agreed to undertake an audit of legacy schemes overseen by - and reporting into - an independent project board (IPB).
The OFT said the IPB's role will be to agree the terms of reference for the audit, scrutinise the results and agree what industry-level actions are needed to address schemes not assessed as value for money.
Other IPB panel members include Bridget Micklem from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), OFT representative Ed Smith and Doug Taylor, a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, the EIOPA occupational pensions stakeholder group and NEST's Members' Panel. Andrew Warwick-Thompson from The Pensions Regulator is the final member of the panel.
The audit is due to be completed by the end of the year.
Pension provider Aegon welcomed the wide range of people appointed to the board.
Managing director of workplace solutions Angela Seymour Jackson said: "The audit of older and higher charging workplace DC pensions will bring full clarity to areas where the OFT couldn't reach conclusions. Importantly, it will give customers further reassurance that their workplace pension, old or new, is offering value for money.
She added: "This will address once and for all any concerns in the increasingly important DC pensions market. Importantly, the audit must identify any valuable features that scheme members benefit from, as well as reviewing charges in detail.
"This will make sure members don't lose out from a blanket application of any price cap introduced by the DWP."The OFT provisionally concluded that the legal test for making a Market Investigation Reference (MIR) to the Competition Commission (CC) was met.
The OFT said: "Having carefully considered the responses to the consultation, the OFT remains of the view that although there are a number of features of the DC workplace pension market that satisfy the reference test, the package of remedies being developed are likely to impact the persistence of the features identified.
"Accordingly, the OFT will not be making a MIR to the CC in respect of the DC workplace pension market."
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