Pension charge cap of 0.75% could be eased to allow investment in high risk, high reward business ventures and green projects

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  • Demonstration fee can be kept out of bounds under government scheme
  • This can open up a pension fund for risky, but potentially beneficial, investments.
  • Some ‘uneducated’ enterprises may charge 20% for better performance
  • Govt says scheme can give better returns in balanced portfolio
  • Pension experts warn, plans will have to pay more for members

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Employees can spend as much as 0.75 percent saving in pension funds, opening them up to riskier — but potentially more rewarding — investments.

The current fee limit for ‘default’ funds used by most workers can be reduced so as to exclude performance charges.


A fee of up to 20 per cent can be levied for long-term performance, and therefore illiquid, green infrastructure, private equity and venture capital projects.

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Retirement savings: People with jobs are automatically included in their employer’s pension plan unless they actively object

The government wants to encourage higher pension amounts in such high-risk UK-based investments, saying they can provide better returns for savers as part of a balanced portfolio, as well as provide employment, communities and the environment. can help maintain.

However, financial experts say pension plans will have to justify the risk and expense of exceeding the 0.75 per cent limit, and that domestic infrastructure projects should be funded by similar ventures in the rest of the world for Britain’s pension savers’ money. Have to compete with.

Jobseekers are elected to their employer’s pension plan as long as they do not actively object, and their money is kept in its ‘default’ or standard investment fund and if they don’t usually choose available options. If you do not choose any of the options, then it remains there.

Around 90-95 per cent, the vast majority, stick with their employer’s default fund, whether it actually suits them or not.

Last week, regulators announced that outside workplace plans could offer simple new ‘default’ pension funds to people saving for retirement, such as the self-employed.

However, the charges will not be capped at 0.75 per cent as they are in the Same Work Fund.

Today, the Department for Work and Pensions announced a consultation on waiving ‘well-designed’ performance fees from the workplace fund fee cap.

The retirement outcome of individual pension savers should be the primary goal of pension planning, rather than the need to finance risky infrastructure projects.
Becky O’Connor, Interactive Investor

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman says: ‘We are proposing to increase the flexibility trustees have to access a range of assets, while ensuring that members are protected from violent charges.’

The consultation document states that although some non-assets can be accessed without paying a performance fee, they are often levied to gain access to the ‘most liquid, high risk but potentially highest potential gross return investment’. Is.

It goes on: ‘The reason cited by investment managers for these high fees is that such costs are often justified by the better returns that can be achieved and investments often involve expert active management, extensive research, Specialization and greater ongoing engagement may be involved. With business managers.’

One potentially important point is that performance fees are often charged to investors at the end of a fund’s life, but accrued at intervals during the investment period.

The DWP suggests using five-year moving averages of performance charges to fit them with charges on the default work pension fund.

Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, says: ‘As automatic enrollment pension plans grow, you would naturally expect the fee – and potentially the 0.75 percent charge cap – to drop.

‘However, with the Treasury looking to boost investment in high-risk UK projects, particularly infrastructure, the DWP is looking to move in the other direction by lowering the cap.

It is essential that the protection of members continues… the charge cap is playing an important role
Guy Opperman, Pensions Minister

“This will potentially make it easier to invest in vehicles operating the traditional ‘2:20’ charging structure – where the upfront fee is 2 percent, with the fund manager ranking in 20 percent of any outperformance above a certain agreed level.” does.

‘It is important to note that the 2 per cent element of such charging structure will continue to be included in the charge cap under the schemes.’

Becky O’Connor, Head of Pensions and Savings at Interactive Investor, says of the plans: ‘The theory makes sense, especially amid forecasts of less long-term stock market growth and the impact on the size of the pension pot on retirement, But whether it works in practice and the returns that justify the higher charges remains to be seen.

“There is a risk that the promised returns fail despite higher fees, which will make pension plan members pay more to intermediaries for less. So it will be very important that the higher fee is charged only if it can be justified.

‘Keeping fees as low as possible in the absence of great investment growth can make a big difference in people’s retirement outcomes.

‘It is important to note that the retirement outcome of individual pension savers should be the primary goal of pension planning, rather than the need to finance risky infrastructure projects.’

Brenda Kite, a pension specialist at Hymans Robertson, says: ‘We do not believe that allowing performance-related charges for illiquid assets within the charge cap will be the government’s expected ‘game-changer’.

‘Performance fees are difficult to raise questions of fairness from member to member as well as defined contribution plans.

‘It also has to be remembered that Britain will have to compete on its own merits with the rest of the world for a share…


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