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Prospect has called for tough regulatory action to protect defined contribution pension scheme members when they access their pension pots.

Stack of pension coins declining in size

In a submission to a review of the retirement incomes market by the Financial Conduct Authority,  the union warned that the pension freedoms introduced in April 2015 by the coalition government had led to worse outcomes for consumers.

Neil Walsh, Prospect pensions officer, said: “George Osborne introduced pension freedoms because they were popular politically and had a positive fiscal impact in the short term, but it’s clear that there have been hugely detrimental consequences for many pension scheme members.

“Faced with extremely complex choices at retirement, defined contribution pension scheme members are not getting the best value products available and are often being ripped off by high charges or running unacceptable risks.

“This could be costing people tens of thousands of pounds or causing them to run out of money during their retirement.”

Prospect’s response called for strong intervention by the FCA and other bodies to protect pension scheme members and help them make the most of their pension savings.

Walsh added: “Instead of leaving pension scheme members to their own devices and at the mercy of product providers, there should be an appropriate default option that protects them from excessive charges and risk.

“The market has shown it cannot be trusted to deliver value for money for members, so the regulator must intervene to ensure everyone is protected.”

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