DWP to release governance guidances ‘imminently’

The regulatory strategy director at Aegon said pension providers must now counter industry criticism that it was “dragging its feet” in setting up independent governance committees, a key recommendation in the Office of Fair Trading’s probe into the sector issued last summer.

It is understood that the department for work and pensions will issue guidelines on the scope and remit of IGCs within the next two weeks.

Providers such as Friends Life, Aegon and Standard Life have insisted that they are on track to meet the Association of British Insurers’ summer deadline for setting up IGCs, but some say they await further details about terms of reference and value for money principles.

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L&G set up its own independent governance initiative last May before the OFT report was released. Prudential, Scottish Widows and Scottish Life did not respond to requests for comment at time of going to press.

It comes as Steve Webb, pensions minister, tabled amendments to the Pensions Bill to force providers to disclose all costs on schemes amid growing speculation that plans for a charge cap would be dropped altogether.

Justin King, chartered financial planner at Dorset-based MFP Wealth Management, said: “It looks like the government is realising that low pricing is incompatible with the layers of regulation in place to protect scheme members.”