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£5m ads start the struggle to sell stakeholder

Pension providers believe the Government faces an uphill battle to

persuade its target market about the merits of stakeholder.

The Government is due to kick off its crusade to encourage stakeholder

uptake in January with a £5m advertising campaign. But providers

believe it will face a real struggle to overcome the apathy towards pension

saving.

Research from IFA Network has found only 7 per cent of over 1,000 people

questioned were considering taking out or adding to their pension as a

financial priority. While only 1 per cent of those in 16 to 25 age bracket

said they would consider pension planning.

IFA Network says this sends a clear signal to the Government that people

do not understand the need to save for their retirement.

Other new research conducted by Mori for Barclays Global Investors has

revealed widespread ignorance about pensions.

It discovered that only 7 per cent of respondents were aware of their own

pension arrangements while one in 10 had no idea at all.

IFA Network sales and marketing director Nick Kelly says: “The research is

a clear indication that people are not placing enough emphasis on their

retirement savings.”

Scottish Life head of communications Alasdair Buchanan says: “We know from

the past that if people are left to their own devices to make pension

provision they just will not save. The Government will face an uphill

struggle persuading them to save even with publicity and education

programmes.”

Scottish Mutual pensions development director Leslie Gray doubts the

effectiveness of the Government&#39s campaign. He says: “It is questionable

whether an adver- tising campaign can create sufficient interest.

“Certainly there is nothing on offer that would make people take out a

pension.”

The Murray yen equities fund was officially launched this week by Murray

Johnstone to invest in a diversified portfolio of Japanese securities. The

new fund is the yen-denominated version of the successful Murray Japan

Growth Fund. The fund has attracted £6.5m from investors since the

initial issue of shares in February.

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