Transparency is key to success of UK pensions

For immediate release: Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions, comments on the RSA Report “Seeing through British Pensions”

Commenting on the Seeing through British Pensions report issued by the RSA today1, Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions, says: “the report concludes that purchasers of personal pensions in the UK are being misled about the level of hidden costs and charges. This is something that NOW: Pensions has felt ever since we started looking at the UK market.”
Nilsson continues: “The UK pensions market has suffered from high costs, lack of alignment of interests, and poor performance for many years, which has led to a lack of trust in the industry. The key issue here is the lack of transparency when it comes to charges. Many savers do not realize the true costs of their pensions as the charges are hidden or presented in such a way as to suggest they are not as harmful, while in reality they continue to eat into savings of millions of those saving for retirement.

Nilsson believes that transparency is key to auto-enrolment being a success in the UK. “Hidden charges have conspired to erode pension pots for too long. For example, the difference purely between our charges and others, over the life of a 40 year pension, can make over a 30% difference in the final pension pot.
“For too long in the UK, pension statements have been unclear and, to most people, unintelligible. In Denmark, a full clear statement is provided to pension holders, which means that savers can see exactly what they have and what the charges are. This report concludes that the same could, and indeed must be made available in Britain if the pension market is to work effectively and regain trust. We strongly agree with that and will be producing simple, understandable and transparent reports for our members.”

Nilsson concludes: “We agree with the report’s conclusion that simple, accurate, high quality information needs to be provided to consumers. We believe that people in the UK deserve better pensions, and transparency of information is an essential element if they are to get the pensions they deserve.”

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Notes for editors:


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NOW: Pensions
NOW: Pensions is a multi-employer trust. The investments are managed by NOW: Pensions
Investments, a subsidiary of ATP in Denmark, and the administration is carried out by Paymaster, an
established UK third party administrator.

The NOW: Pension Trustee Directors, whose role is to safeguard the interests of members,
comprises well-known industry figures with different areas of expertise:

  • Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister
  • Imelda Walsh, former Group HR Director of Sainsbury’s
  • John Monks, member of House of Lords and former General Secretary of ETUC and TUC
  • Christopher Daykin, former Government Actuary
  • Lars Rohde, CEO of ATP Group
  • Win Robbins, former Head of European Fixed Income at Barclays Global Investors

NOW: Pensions is committed to developing a better workplace pension provision in the UK by offering a simple, systematically risk managed, cost efficient and high performance pension product that delivers better retirement savings for UK employees. With over 45 years’ experience providing Denmark’s working population with stable and consistent pensions returns, NOW: Pensions is set to transfer the knowledge acquired in Denmark to the UK pension market. Charges are just £1.50 per
month administration charge (reduced administration charge of £0.30 – £1.00 to be applied during auto enrolment phasing for lower earners) plus a 0.3% annual product investment management charge, with no hidden charges.

The ATP Group

Arbejdsmarkedets Tillaegspension (ATP) / Danish Labour Market Supplementary Pension is a statutory pension fund. It was established as an independent entity in 1964 with the objective of ensuring a greater retirement income for the Danish population. ATP has since developed to become the largest pension fund in Denmark. Together with the tax-financed basic state pension, ATP provides basic income security in old age for the Danish population.

ATP covers almost the entire Danish population representing 4.7 million members and 160,000 employers. In addition to the ATP Scheme, the ATP Group administers a number of pension and social insurance schemes, including several for the Danish state.

The ATP Group assets amounted to approximately DKK 579 billion (GBP 65bn) and DKK 74 billion (GBP 8.3bn) reserves at 31 December 2011. ATP invests in a wide variety of assets globally. Investment categories are broadly: equities, interest rates, credit, inflation and commodities.

There is a need for a member-centric solution designed for ease of use with low costs and cutting edge investment strategy, which delivers long term stable returns. ATP's in-house investment capabilities, combined with our novel and innovative… — Lars Rohde, Governor of the National Bank of Denmark and Former CEO of ATP Group
NOW: Pensions was attractive to us because the staff were very helpful and they sent over all the information required. This made the decision easy. — Metro Surveillance Group Ltd
Our broker recommended NOW: Pensions, as they believed it would be our best option. We have not been disappointed, the NOW: Pensions customer support teams are great and always available. — Bromborough Paint & Building Supplies Ltd
I am backing NOW: Pensions, the ATP project, because I believe it will encourage transparency, low costs and decent returns for millions of British employees. — Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister
NOW: Pensions has a good technical infrastructure combined with a pension product suitable for our team. We couldn’t be happier with NOW: Pensions. — Martin Woods,