The speed of change to pensions is too great to ensure member interests are protected, the National Association of Pension Funds said today.
In response to the Department for Work and Pensions consultation, Better workplace pensions: further measurers for savers, NAPF said it agreed with government action to reduce charges for those saving in pensions and to improve minimum quality standard in workplace pension schemes.
But the association stressed that it was essential to get the details and implementation of these important changes right.
NAPF chief executive Joanne Segars said: '[We] strongly support the government's ambition to improve minimum quality standards in workplace pension schemes, but it is difficult to recall a time when UK workplace pensions have had more to deal with.'
The pensions body acknowledged that its members were extremely concerned about the sheer volume of changes they are being expected to deliver over the next 12 months, especially following the announcements in the Budget.
It highlighted that, following the Budget, every defined contribution scheme would have to: review its investment strategy to ensure it could adapt to the unpredictability introduced to the decumulation phase; adjust all of its member communications to reflect the Budget changes; and, work towards ensuring a guidance guarantee is in place for scheme members by April 2015.
Segars continued: 'The Budget set out some of the most far-reaching reforms to pensions in over 90 years and while much of the detail of these reforms is yet to be confirms we do know they must all be implemented by April 2015.
'In this context asking schemes to implement the 0.75% charge cap at the same time risks forcing schemes to do too much too quickly.
'Even with the best intensions, this can only jeopardise good outcomes for scheme members and schemes should be given time to put the changes from the Budget in place first.'
NAPF called on the government to review the pensions reform timetable to ensure it allows room for schemes to get this right, 'not just get it done'.
Other suggestions include: schemes should be given 12 months from April to explain to The Pensions Regulator or the Financial Conduct Authority how they are planning to comply with the charge cap; the government should review its position on what can be covered by the charge cap in light of the guidance guarantee; and the charge cap should provide sufficient flexibility to take account of new requirements that may fall on schemes as a result if the IORP directive.
A copy of NAPF's response can be found here.