Plain English Campaign blast the Government for missing the point on pensions

Plain English Campaign, like many others, applaud the Government for planning to introduce a ‘cap’ on the charges for workplace pensions. However, we are amazed at their lack of foresight in not insisting that those charges are transparent.

 ‘The Government are missing the point’, claims Campaign founder Chrissie Maher. ‘People have always been put off even looking at these schemes because of the wall of jargon they are often faced with. Surely, the only real answer is to force pension providers to clearly explain their services, and their charges.

‘Companies should be under a legal obligation to make sure their literature is in English that is easy to understand. The Crystal Mark is a symbol which shows readers that a document is written as plainly as possible. We would encourage the Government to insist that pension providers have to gain some form of accreditation, like the Crystal Mark, to prove to their customers that their documents have been assessed for clarity.

‘The Government have a responsibility to make sure that people in this country are not hoodwinked, ripped off or put off from taking steps to provide for themselves and their families in the future. The Government have an excellent opportunity to take action now and force this industry to clean up its act.’

Pensions update 17 October 2013

Today’s front page of The Times covers a speech recorded by the Prince of Wales for the National Association of Pension Funds’ annual conference yesterday.

In the article The Times’ Social Affairs Correspondent Rosemary Bennett says:
'In a highly provocative step the Prince of Wales has accused the £2 trillion pensions industry of failing the interests of millions of savers.'

The Prince also claimed that ‘the short-termism of City investors was increasingly unfit to provide for an ageing population’.

Plain English Campaign has always enjoyed the Prince’s support for its campaign against jargon and gobbledygook in public information and the Campaign now wants to say that it agrees wholeheartedly with the Prince’s attack on the pensions industry.

Our members complain about the obscure and impenetrable language used by some pension companies and the ‘hidden charges’ their pension savings suffer.

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