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&#39IFAs liberated&#39

The Green Paper&#39s simplification of the pensions regime will liberate IFAs to return to being pensions salesmen, according to Standard Life.

The time frame for selling a pension will be reduced from 7 to 8 hours to 3 to 4 hours which will allow IFAs to advise people with monthly contributions as low as £75 per month, says Standard Life senior technical manager John Lawson.

While Norwich Union welcomes the Green Paper&#39s promise to consult on the 1 per cent price cap in the new year when the Government consults on Sandler next year as a chink of light.

The Government will also consult on the regulation of equity release mortgage products and home reversion plans, which have so far remained outside of regulation so as to create a level playing field.

The proposals also include plans for a new pensions regulator to proactively protect the interests of members of occupational schemes, and the Government will consult on whether Opra will remain or be completely replaced.

The unloved minimum funding requirement introduced in the wake of the Maxwell scandal is to be replaced by a more flexible proposal for scheme specific regulation.

Deferring the state pension will be made easier, and the Government proposes to allow people to choose between an increased state pension or &#45 for the first time &#45 allow them to take a single taxable lump sum.
Contracted-out benefits will also be simplified.

Immediate vesting will also be encouraged so that all employees are entitled to benefits on joining a firm. But the Government also says members should be allowed to transfer pensions pot into a stakeholder. A move providers say they would not welcome as it could lead to a rash of very small amounts to manage.

Lawson says: “From a private pensions point of view this covers nearly all of our concerns. Administration and communication with customers will be easier.”

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Guide: how to… communicate with your pension members

Effective communication of your pension scheme is a large part of getting auto-enrolment right. Delivering the same message to all employees is not necessarily the way to go. To assist you with the communication of your pension scheme, we have provided some key areas to think about, such as:

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  • What topics you should be discussing with your pension members
  • The new pension freedoms and the importance of communicating them

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