The government is to consider adopting a private sector IT system for the proposed National Pension Savings Scheme, and has invited insurers to put together detailed proposals by February.
Stephen Timms, minister of state for pensions, told an Association of British Insurers (ABI) summit last week that the industry should "work up the details" of its alternative approach and join the government to present its model. Stephen Haddrill, director general of the ABI, said the industry was happy to accept the challenge.
As reported in last week's Computer Weekly, insurers fear the government could struggle to build the systems to underpin the scheme. Helen McCarthy of the ABI highlighted the government's previous IT project failures.
The government also clashed with insurers over the chancellor's pre-Budget report, which included a U-turn over permitting residential property investments in self-invested personal pensions (Sipps). The ABI said the decision meant the industry had wasted millions of pounds in developing dedicated IT platforms to handle residential Sipps and other alternative asset classes.