DSS hunts agency for £5m pension campaign

The Department of Social Security (DSS) is seeking an agency for a £5m ad push, believed to be connected with the launch of the Government’s stakeholder pension scheme.

The DSS is talking to Central Office of Information (COI) roster agencies prior to drawing up a shortlist. Five agencies are believed to be involved in initial discussions.

The campaign is not due to break until April next year, and will coincide with the launch of the stakeholder pensions. The account will be administered through the COI.

A DSS spokesman says: “I can confirm that we are seeing agencies about a financial services campaign. It is in the area of stakeholder pensions.”

Stakeholder pensions are the central plank of New Labour’s reform of the welfare state.

They are designed to ease the burden on the state of an ageing population by encouraging people on lower incomes to make provision for their future.

The pensions, which have been developed in conjunction with the big private lenders, are designed to top up the state pension for people earning £9,000 to £18,000 a year.

Critics claim the policy is a backdoor privatisation of the welfare state.

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