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BRS adds clarity to with-profits

Britannic Retirement Solutions, formerly Evergreen Retirement Assurance, is setting up a fully transparent “21st Century” with-profits annuity with a 1 per cent annual management charge.

BRS claims the product deals with concerns over the clarity of with-profits annuities raised in a recent report by the Staple Inn Actuarial Society, the London branch of the Faculty & Institute of Actuaries.

BRS is aiming to remove the lack of transparency of conventional with-profits annuities by giving policyholders ann ual statements outlining how the fund performed and disclosing the amount reserved for smoothing and charges.

The new annuity also features an annual audit by an independent actuary to double-check the fund is sticking to the rules.

Corporate development director Bob Bullivant argues that IFAs cannot match clients&#39 risk profiles with their required returns on a with-profits annuity without being fully aware of returns and deductions.

Bullivant says: “The opaque nature of current generation products is unacceptable in the 21st Century.

“We have engineered this product to remove the smoke and mirrors, meaning consumers can buy this product confident that we cannot raid their funds for our own purposes as is the case with other with-profits annuities.”

Annuity Direct managing director Stuart Bayliss says: “This is good news. We have argued for greater transparency for a long time as with-profits annuities can leave policyholders vulnerable to the whims of actuaries.”


Reducing returns

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Lincoln in £3.5bn deal with Goldman Sachs

Lincoln Financial Services is offering UK retail investors and its existing customers access to US banking giant Goldman Sachs&#39 investment expertise. After selling off its entire salesforce late last year, the provider is trying to rebuild itself by focusing on IFAs and adding value to services its offers to existing clients. The deal hands Goldman […]

Highly charged market

The Sunday Times recently accused the fund management industry of cheating investors and taking half of all investment growth in charges. Do you believe industry charges are too high? MB: It is value for money which is most important. Larger funds should have lower charges due to econ omies of scale – index trackers are […]

FSA passed Equitable fit a month before closure

The FSA is coming under pressure to explain why it granted Equitable Life approval for stakeholder pensions just a month before it closed its doors to new business. The regulator is also under fire from regulation lawyers for giving too much weight to the opinions of Equitable&#39s legal team which was confident Equitable would win […]

Why prevention is better than cure

Quoting the famous adage, prevention is better than cure; there are many proactive benefits that can improve wellness in the workplace, decrease stress, increase staff morale and reduce absenteeism, as well as attracting and retaining employees of a higher standard. With a recent study showing that employees in Britain are working below peak productivity, preventative benefits can ensure you address potential health issues or causes of stress at their source and ensure productivity in the workplace remains at an optimum level. With this in mind, how are you using preventative benefits to help keep your workforce happy and healthy?


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