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A simple start, absolutely

By the end of January, the main pension industry bodies will have a gentlemen&#39s agreement with the Treasury that pension simplification will go ahead – with a lifetime fund limit of £1.4m – so they can get on with preparing for A-Day in 2005, leaving the National Audit Office to go through the motions on the figures.

The anniversary of last year&#39s low point, March 12, will see the FTSE 100 at 4,500 and a rash of fund managers launching advertisements trumpeting 37 per cent absolute returns for the year.

Easter will see the Treasury decide that it is less hassle to leave the stakeholder cap at 1 per cent while the Department for Work and Pensions will celebrate year-end business figures with a press release applauding a slashing in the number of stakeholder empty boxes from 85 per cent to 84 per cent.

May will see Wolverhampton Wanderers avoid relegation, swine will fly in their many millions and the summer will be wet but England will win in Portugal, causing a surge in the beer and pizza sectors.

The autumn will see a handful of IFAs deciding to multi-tie just in time to find that by next Christmas they have spent their golden handshake and realise why they left the tied side in the first place.

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