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‘Back pension funds to boost UK recovery’

Aviva Budget panel. left to right: Phil Jeynes, Direct Life; Robert Sinclair, Aifa; Simon Bradley, viva UK; Kay Ingram, LEBC Group; and Jonathan Cornell, First Action Finance

Aifa director Robert Sinclair has launched an attack on “synthetic investments” such as trackers, saying they do nothing to help the economy.
Speaking last week at an Aviva round table debate on the Budget and commenting on the impact of the Government’s pension simplification on long-term savings, Sinclair said investors must back pension funds to aid a long-term recovery.

He said: “If we have more people investing into the big pension engines which then invest back into the UK economy, we get more equity participation and we get back to a better place. We get away from people wanting to invest in trackers and pseudo trackers. Synthetic investments do nothing to help the UK economy. They are effectively bets and are not actually adding to the ability of large investment vehicles investing in our future.

“We have pension structures that are involved in long-term investment decisions where we will get a better economy in the longer term. It is a better way for us to be heading.”

Sinclair said the Government’s phasing out of the default retirement age would present the insurance industry with some major challenges in terms of pricing products suitably with increased longevity.

He said: “The worry is that people still want the free lunch, we used to have the final-salary pension system but because of a few misdemeanours it has been regulated out of existence now. That is the risk of regulation and regulation to a degree that is wrong.

“The challenge for us as an industry is how we get the trust back of politicians and regulators to play the game we used to play. We had an industry that had all the golden eggs and we somehow lost them.”


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