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Pensions: Personal Accounts Delivery Authority

Volume 694: debated on Wednesday 25 July 2007

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Peter Hain) has made the following Statement.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Myners as the chair designate of the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority. His appointment will take effect as from 1 August. Paul Myners brings extensive experience to this role from his time as a director of NM Rothschild and Sons Ltd and National Westminster Bank, in addition to non-executive positions at Marks & Spencer and Orange. This knowledge will be invaluable to the delivery authority in its initial advisory role to the Government and later when, subject to parliamentary approval, it faces the challenging task of implementing the personal accounts scheme.

Subject to parliamentary approval, personal accounts will be set up as a trust-based occupational pension scheme. The scheme will be set up in accordance with a framework set out in legislation and will be aimed at people on low to middle incomes. It will feature low charges and will use automatic enrolment, fulfilling one of the key recommendations of the Pensions Commission report.

Implementing such a major occupational pension scheme, with the potential for up to 10 million members, is a sizeable task requiring particular skills and experience. Consultation with stakeholders across the financial services industry, employers, the Trades Union Congress and customer representatives highlighted the need to establish an independent body, staffed by professionals in the field, to be responsible for delivering personal accounts.

The Government are absolutely committed to making personal accounts a success. That is why they are setting up an independent body with the necessary skills and experience to get the policy design of personal accounts right and to ensure that the interests of members remain at the heart of the scheme. As chair designate of the delivery authority, Paul will bring a proven track record and a wealth of experience in the financial sector. One of his first tasks will be to take part in the selection of the authority’s chief executive.