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Aifa&#39s decision trees help consumers to find an IFA

Aifa has drawn up its own decision trees to help consumers find an IFA.

It believes polarisation has been complicated by the introduction of multi-ties for selling stakeholder.

It says if the Government believes decision trees can help consumers decide on a stakeholder, then the concept should be used to help them find an IFA to get the best advice.

Aifa&#39s own decision tree tells people how to find advice from an IFA. The first question on the Aifa tree is: “There are over 40 different varieties of stakeholder. Where do I find the one that is right for me?” Aifa says: “IFAs are the only advisers who can advise you on the full range of financial products and help you decide if a stakeholder is suitable and which product would be best for you.”

A second tree asks: “How do I know my adviser is independent?” Tree three describes the FSA&#39s changes on March 29 while trees four and five are intended to help lead consumers to an IFA.

Clerical Medical has launched its group and individual stakeholder pension product as part of its single-charging FutureProof pensions range.

Both products offer a single annual management charge of 1 per cent and access to range of investment funds from Clerical Medical&#39s unit-linked range.

The group and individual stakeholder plans both provide IFAs with a choice of commission options. Customers will get an additional bonus for bigger funds, although this is optional on group plans.

Clerical says investment performance is key for IFAs advising on stakeholder as the contracts are so similar between providers.

Alongside the launch of the products, Clerical is offering IFAs direct support material. This includes employer designation packs and mailing packs for employees and individuals to help IFAs promote stakeholder.

Clerical is aiming to bec-ome a serious player in the group pension and stakeholder market following Halifax&#39s deal with Equitable Life. Its funds under management with Equitable&#39s are almost doubled to £34bn.

Clerical has the benefit of being able to use Equitable&#39s administration system, which was designed to run low-margins products.

The Equitable salesforce, which is rebranded Halifax Equitable, will sell a white-labelled version of Clerical&#39s stakeholder.

Clerical sales development manager (pensions) Martyn Nethercott says: “Research indicates that more than 90 per cent of employers consider performance to be the most important factor when selecting a stakeholder scheme.

“In the era of the 1 per cent charge, fund performance is king. Our complete products and performance offering gives IFAs everything they need to succeed in the new pensions environment.”

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