Defined Benefit  

'Chicken in a basket’ used to get steelworkers' pensions

The bill for it is due its second reading in the House of Commons in January having started in the Lords last June.

Although admitting the bill had been “much improved” Mr Cunningham said he was concerned bringing the bodies together was all about cost savings for the government.

“One of the things that I will be concentrating on is to ensure that the efficiencies that are being driven from the amalgamation actually are invested back in the service so we don’t see that [provision] gap get greater,” he said.

“We also need to understand how [the government] sees the new body operating.”

He said there was a worry the hammering out of the details of the scheme will be pushed to a later date. 

“I’m worried about the detail now because I want to know how are they going to deliver it. So often we’ve seen situations where things have changed across the market and everybody then relies on their IT system in order to deliver [guidance] and the face to face consultations go by the way and so do even telephone [services],” he said. 

Mr Cunningham also supported the idea of changing the £500 advice allowance for a “credit” to be given to consumers.

carmen.reichman@ft.com