Personal accounts delivery authority consults on charging structure

The personal accounts delivery authority (PADA) has launched a consultation, Building personal accounts: choosing a charging structure.

In the first of several consultations, the authority is seeking the views of stakeholders and the general public to inform its recommendation on the changing structure of personal accounts.

The consultation covers the charging structure of the scheme rather than the level of charges. The levels of charges will depend on the final design, costs and revenues which will not be known for some time.

There are a number of ways that charges could be deducted including annual management charges where members pay a fixed proportion of their funds under management each year, contribution charges where members pay a fixed proportion of each contribution into personal accounts, joining charges where members pay a one off joining fee and a combination of annual management charges with lower contribution charges.

Different charging systems favour different potential members depending on their saving patterns and whether they save earlier or later in life. The delivery authority intends to balance the interests of all those who will be saving in personal accounts.

Tim Jones, chief executive of the personal accounts delivery authority, said: “No single charging structure or combination of structures offers a perfect solution.

“I would encourage everyone who has an interest in the long-term future of pensions in the UK to give us their views. Without supporting evidence it will be difficult for us to give the appropriate weight to their position.”

Comementing on the contents of the consultation, Helen Dowsey, head of defined contribution at Aon Consulting, believes that a complex personal accounts structure could penalise lower earners. She said: “It is vital that the charging structure should be kept as simple as possible to avoid confusion among defined contribution scheme members. We would advise against combining an annual management charge with a contribution charge or joining fee.”

The consultation will run until the 22 April.