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ABI hedges cap stance

The Association of British Insurers has sidestepped the Government’s challenge of setting a charge cap for the NPSS personal accounts scheme.

In its response to the Pensions White Paper consultation, closing next week, the ABI has underlined its strong support for personal accounts but made it clear the scheme should not impinge on existing pension provision.

It supports the Pensions Commission’s proposals for a cap on contributions into personal accounts and says the scheme should be targeted at people who are currently saving little or nothing.

But having rejected the Turner Commission’s proposed 0.3 per cent charge cap and previously put forward a 0.6 per cent charge as more real- istic, the ABI now refuses to set any limit. It says competition between providers involved in the scheme will help to keep charges down.

It proposes establishing an economic regulator with the power to impose a charge cap if competition fails to deliver low charges.

ABI spokesman Jon French says: “Nobody believed that 0.3 per cent was realistic. The argument about charge caps is a false argument.”

But Scottish Life head of communications Alasdair Buchanan says: “No charge caps may be too big a step and too much of an about-turn for the Government to consider. Competition in stakeholder has driven huge capital losses at many life companies and I do not see why personal accounts will be any different.”


Tories plan consumer disclaimer

The Tories are floating plans to introduce a consumer disclaimer in the advice process for some products. At a meeting with the IFA Defence Union, Tory MP John Redwood said the idea was part of the “radical” agenda of his economic competitiveness group to reduce unnecessary regulation and help advisers. He said advisers should be […]

The real deal

If I am honest, I tire of those regular phone calls conducting market surveys for life offices. I am sure my criticisms of service standards will do nothing towards the closing down of the call centres, the piped music and boring voices telling us someone will “be with you shortly” followed by our losing the will to live while waiting an interminable age, only to be told that the information we want will take three weeks to produce.

Administrators in at SRB

Special Risks Bureau has gone into administration following its acquisition by Risk Placement Services. RPS bought the niche insurance brokerage for an undisclosed sum last month in a deal that saw it take on SRB’s assets but not liabilities. RPS deputy managing director Geoff Tresman says it will honour any claims going through but any […]

SIML in UK version of 130m global best ideas fund

Skandia Investment Management is introducing a UK version of its global best ideas fund next month featuring the five UK managers from the global fund plus five others including Schroders’ Richard Buxton. The UK best ideas fund, which launches on October 11, will replicate the global fund with each of the 10 managers providing their […]

Who pays inheritance tax and how to declare it

By Kim Jarvis, Canada Life In this article we look at which forms personal representatives (PRs) need to complete and who actually pays inheritance tax (IHT).  To recap, under current rules, any part of the estate that falls within the available nil-rate band (NRB), currently £325,000, is taxed at zero. Anything in excess of the NRB […]


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