The inquiry will investigate consumers' experiences in buying pensions, the effect of their choices on pension entitlement and the potential for detriment. The final report, scheduled for publication in the first half of 1997, will cover:
an analysis of actual or potential detriment to consumers in general and particular groups such as women who have taken career breaks
an indication of how such detriment can be addressed and avoided in the future
international pensions industry comparisons.
John Bridgeman said: 'At a time when consumers are having to become more proactive in the way they provide for their retirement there is also increasing unease about pensions products and the selling methods employed by the industry.
'People are now more worried about living too long to provide a comfortable retirement than they are about dying early.
'Our research will cover consumer experience and the structure and regulation of the industry to see what lessons can be learned from the past and what changes can be made to improve consumer confidence and reduce the potential for consumer detriment.'
Additionally the final report will cover international pension industry models and the methods used to foster public confidence in the industry. Views will also be sought from industry, SIB, consumer groups and other government and self regulatory organisations (SROs).