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Bill of health

I read recently that the private member&#39s bill calling for amendment of the law requiring the compulsory purchase of annuities by no later than the age of 75 has cleared another hurdle, despite Government opposition.

On just what grounds? While we all know that an annuity is guaranteed for life, the level of that guaranteed income is now such poor value for money that nobody in full possession of the facts (or their mental faculties) would commit money to an investment product which will lock in three-quarters of their fund to having to buy an annuity at retirement. I wouldn&#39t anyway.

Perhaps MM might care to ask Ian McCartney, whose own income in retirement will be entirely independent of annuity rates, where he stands on the issue, so we know who and what we are up against. Personally, I intend for the foreseeable future to continue recommending Isas as a better proposition than just about any personal pension.

Julian Stevens Partner, WDS Independent Financial Advisers, Kingswood, Bristol


Franklin Templeton Investments – Templeton EuroMarket Growth Fund

Wednesday, January 23, 2002.Type: Ucits.Aim: Growth by investing in Euroland countries.Minimum investment: $5,000 or currency equivalent.Place of registration: Dublin.Investment split: 100 per cent in Euroland countries.Isa link: Yes.Charges: Initial up to 5 per cent, annual 1.5 per cent.Commission: Initial 3.5 per cent, renewal 0.5 per cent.Tel: 020 7925 7171.

Standard & Poor&#39s Top 10s

As the Isa season begins in earnest, fund valuations are still depressed despite some rally in the markets since September. In the last 12 months, the average unit trust is still down by 14.12 per cent while the average investment trust has fared worse still with a return of -18.31 per cent.JPMF Korea is still […]

IFAs by any other name

Hey, everyone, relax. This is a consultative paper so it is likely that the eventual changes will be different, anyway – they invariably are.But let us assume they are not. Everyone seems to have overlooked that sitting nicely in between the multi-tie and independent adviser is the “authorised” adviser (look at section four of CP121).You […]

NU with-profits bonuses cut by up to 19 per cent

Norwich Union has become the latest life office to slash annual bonus rates, hitting some with-profits policies with cuts of up to 19 per cent.The news comes after Scottish Widows admitted that it was reducing bonuses on its savings policies by around one-third.NU says it will cut bonuses on savings policies to 4.25 per cent […]

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Pension freedom: wish you were here?

Out there lies a warm ocean of desert islands, sun, sand and palm trees, where individuals can choose how and when to tax-efficiently access their pension fund and realise the retirement dreams they have worked so hard for.


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