A new joint industry code of conduct for disclosing information to employers on the charges made on workplace pensions has been published today by a group of pensions experts.

The move was led by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and Association of British Insurers (ABI), supported by the Investment Management Association and the Society of Pension Consultants.

The code enables, for the first time, the consistent disclosure of charges and investment costs across the workplace pensions landscape.

The code specifies that all charges are clearly and accurately stated in writing, and that employers receive a standard template summarising the pension charges levied and the corresponding services.

The code also says that employers must be able to see examples of how different levels of charges and charging structures could affect the pension pots of their employees, either through a document or a dedicated web tool.

It is intended to apply to all parties providing services to employers in setting up and administering pension schemes for auto-enrolment, including insurance companies, trust-based pension schemes, financial advisers, and any other professionals offering paid advice.

The code will come into effect in two stages. The first stage begins on 1 January 2013 when the code should be used as a guide for best practice. The second stage starts one month after the launch of the dedicated web tool, which is expected to be available from 1 April 2013 and is being produced by the ABI. During this stage all the provisions of the code will apply.

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