October 26, 2017 / 11:46 AM / 2 years ago

UK pension schemes told to give more detail on investments, costs

* Members need more detail on costs, impact on savings

* Also need information on where money invested

* Government to consult on changes until Dec. 6

By Simon Jessop and Noor Zainab Hussain

LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - UK pension schemes should give more information to members about their investments and how much asset managers are charging them to run members’ money, the government said on Thursday.

The move is the latest attempt by the authorities to increase transparency in the market for pensions and investments.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said a failure to provide the information could see occupational workplace pension scheme trustees fined up to 50,000 pounds from April, 2018, under the proposed new rules.

An annual benefit statement should be given to scheme members detailing the costs and charges associated with their investments and schemes should show how the expenses affect the size of the individual’s retirement savings pot.

The scheme should also give more detail about the investments made on behalf of members, the DWP said. It will now consult with trustees and fund managers until Dec. 6 on the proposals.

“Well-run schemes should have nothing to fear from greater transparency on costs and charges,” said former pensions minister Steve Webb, now director of policy at insurer and pensions provider Royal London.

“Trustees and governance committees will welcome additional information which will help them to ensure that their members’ money is invested in a way which delivers maximum value-for-money.”

Rachel Haworth, policy officer at ShareAction, an investor action group, said it supported the proposed changes, particularly those around better disclosure of the main investments being made on behalf of a scheme’s members.

“It is right that these savers should be able to find out where and how their money is invested, since they bear the risks and costs of investment.

“We regularly support pension savers to ask their schemes how their money is being invested, but they often hit a brick wall in trying to get this information.” (Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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