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Aifa set for Treasury clash

Aifa is on a collision course with the Treasury after urg- ing advisers to continue recommending alternatively secured pensions to clients despite warnings from the Treasury that it will scrap Asps if they do.

The Treasury is now considering all options to ensure that Asps are used exclu- sively for religious groups with moral objections to annuities but admits that it cannot enshrine this in legislation because it would violate European anti-discrimination laws.

But Aifa deputy director general Fay Goddard says advisers should not bow to Treasury pressure. She says: “If Asps are legal, then advisers should offer them if they are suitable for their clients.”

A Treasury spokesman responded by repeating the warning that the department would clamp down on any abuse and refused to rule out retrospective action.

But Treasury threats have not been echoed by the FSA and the Financial Ombudsman Service, which are both refusing to condemn adv- isers for not restricting Asps on religious grounds.

An FSA spokeswoman says: “This is a Government restriction. It has nothing to do with the FSA.”

Syndaxi Financial Planning managing director Robert Reid says: “I do not care if the Treasury says it is abuse, I will continue to advise suitable clients to take out Asps.”

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