Financial advisory specialist Siobhan Mail has welcomed government plans to cap management fees charged by pension providers.

According to government proposals unveiled by Pensions Minister Steve Webb, fees could be capped between 0.75 per cent and one per cent – saving people tens of thousands of pounds for their retirement.

Some older pension schemes, which were set up more than a decade ago, have been charging up to 2.3 per cent in management fees.

Siobhan, director at financial advisory and pensions specialist Seer Green, said: “We welcome the announcement that pension charges are to be capped.

“A lot of mistrust exists with regard to pensions, and having a transparent and consistent charging structure will certainly help to encourage more to save for their future. It has been very difficult in the past for individuals to fully understand the impact of charges on their policies, especially where multiple charges have been made and there is no clear benchmark for individuals to make comparisons with.

“With the average charges on a pension at their lowest-ever average levels, and with the charges on the auto-enrolment schemes that we at Seer Green have been involved in also falling within the range of the proposed 0.75-1 per cent cap, then it can only be good news for consumers and right that these competitive charging levels, like those we provide, should continue.

“Our experience of late has shown that more and more individuals who have access to advice are reviewing previous pension policies. This has led to cost savings for consumers and a much better understanding of what charges they are paying and the improved value for money they are receiving.”

However, Siobhan added: “We do have some broader concerns regarding auto-enrolment, which we believe the government should be addressing, particularly of capacity issues among providers. This situation is only likely to worsen as thousands more companies reach their auto-enrolment staging dates over the next 12 months.”

Seer Green, based at Newport’s Celtic Springs Business Park, has led the way in Wales in rolling out the auto-enrolment programme and is currently working with a number of different companies, helping to register hundreds of employees enrol onto their new workplace pension schemes.

As featured in the South Wales Argus

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