The industry has urged the National Association of Pension Funds to take care when designing its "pounds and pence" charging code to avoid too much focus on low charges.
In May the NAPF proposed a voluntary code of conduct for members, where it said charges for schemes should be presented to consumers against a baseline comparator (PP Online 16 May).
In responses to the consultation, which closed on 4 July, providers condemned the focus on charges.
Mercer UK head of DC Paul Macro said: "In some cases lower charges might lead to better value for money, this is not always the case. There is a lot of evidence that investing in stronger governance can produce better member outcomes."
The Society of Pension Consultants added: "Low charges will not secure a good outcome if combined with one or more of inadequate contribution levels, inadequate investment returns and unsuccessful decumulation.
"Employers could be placed on the defensive if they chose anything but the cheapest option."
RPMI head of technical services Nigel Oakley said: "There is a risk that the code could facilitate a race to the bottom in terms of charges over other considerations."
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