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74-Year-old client switches firms after being refused Asp

Specialist pension IFA Richard Jacobs has defied Government restrictions on alternatively secured pensions by moving his client to another insurer when refused an Asp on a personal pension by Skandia.

Jacobs, director of Richard Jacobs Pension & Trustee Services, argues if he had not advised his client to move elsewhere he would have not been giving his client best advice.

His 74-year-old client wan- ted to take out an Asp rather than annuitise but had already received a letter from Skandia advising him to purchase an annuity or transfer his pension.

It also explained the cli- ent could only take an Asp with Skandia if it transferred to a Sipp but this would incur transfer costs.

Jacobs says: “The client is 75 in January and is a high Anglican who knows the Plymouth Brethren. I told him what the FSA said about restrictions on Asps and advised him to transfer to another firm which offered an Asp on a standard personal pension contract. I believe that if I had not done that, my advice would have been wrong.”

Skandia pensions marketing director Nick Bladen says: “Our Sipp product is more aligned to an Asp offering. We do want to expand our Asp offering so it is an option across our product range. But the uncertainty from the Treasury over the rules is clouding everything and means we cannot commit to a timeframe.”

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