UK - The Pensions Regulator should speak out against the "rubbish" 8% minimum auto-enrolment contribution, a consultant says.
Pension Capital Strategies managing director for investment advisory services Antony Osborn-Barker said the regulator has put up a "wall of silence" around the 8% contribution rate into NEST.
And he said, as part of educating the population about saving enough for retirement, the regulator should criticise the contribution level as "inadequate".
Osborn-Barker said the regulator had been active in attacking pension funds for over-aggressive assumptions in funding and pushed companies to put more in defined benefit plans.
However, he said: "They [the regulator] have just not commented on NEST at all to say ‘by the way that is rubbish' - it is just a wall of silence. It [NEST] is going to be the biggest defined contribution scheme ever and yet by implication the regulator is saying 8% is a good idea.
"It is like trimming the sails when the whole ship is fundamentally holed below the waterline."
A TPR spokeswoman said the regulator does not comment on specific schemes but it will regulate NEST just as it does every other pension fund.
She added: "Charges reduce the value of an individual pension pot so it is important that these are transparent and value for money. Our focus is on ensuring standards of DC schemes keep up. We will take into account the unique features of its [NEST's] universal service obligation."
A department for work and pensions spokesman said: "The minimum contribution level set out under the reforms is just that - a minimum. Individuals and employers can contribute more than this, if they wish."
Punter Southall head of corporate DC Damian Stancombe said the public was "totally apathetic" to the government getting pensions right.
He added: "We need an independent body to stand up and be vocal about this and one of these things has to be absolute clarity about what is a good pension scheme and what is not - because the reality is what goes in and how it is invested."
This comes as the National Association of Pension Funds proposed increasing the new statutory minimum contribution from 8% to 11% as part of its vision for pensions campaign.
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