View more on these topics

Call for less red tape and cheaper pensions

Removing layers of red tape, rationalising the number of products on the market and making pensions cheaper for employers are at the centre of Alan Pickering&#39s regulatory overhaul.

Pickering hopes his plans to remove the obligation for employers to offer spouse benefits and to link benefits to inflation will cut the cost of offering final-salary schemes.

His proposals include a return to the pre-1988 position, where employers can make employees join their company schemes as a condition of emp-loyment.

But Pickering would req-uire employers forcing emp-loyees to join schemes to also contribute and he proposes a contribution level of 4 per cent.

Industry figures suggest this could indicate an increase in the GPP employers&#39 contribution level from 3 per cent to 4 per cent for those wanting to avoid setting up a stakeholder scheme.

Providers welcome the broad sweep of his recommendations although they point out that, without seeing the outcome of the Inland Revenue&#39s proposals for chan-ges to the tax regime, his report cannot present the full picture of a future pension landscape.

Pickering says: “It is not for Parliament to tell employers and employees whether they should have bells and whistles – it is down to employers and employees themselves. Past pension promises have been imposed by well-meaning but interfering politicians.”

Axa head of pensions Steve Folkard says: “There are good things in his report. His problem has been that the expectations of what he can achieve have been too high. For the full job to be done, we need to see what the Revenue does with tax.”


Threadneedle makes sector fund debut

Threadneedle Investments has unveiled its first sector fund, the Threadneedle global healthcare fund.This Oeic will contain between 30 and 40 stocks. It aims for capital growth by investing in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare providers, medical supply companies and companies which manufacture medical devices.Forsyth McGarrity will run the fund and will combine a top-down and bottom-up approach […]

&#39A step closer to offering public simpler products&#39 – Torquil Clark

Torquil Clark has welcomed Sandler&#39s positive vision, rec-ognising the benefits for consumers and the industry but advises caution on certain aspects of the review.The IFA says the review takes the industry a step closer to offering simpler products for consumers but it describes British consumers&#39 knowledge of financial services as distressingly low.It says there is […]

Clerical takes stake in Assureweb

Clerical Medical is joining Norwich Union, Friends Provident and Scottish Widows as the fourth product provider to take a stake in Misys&#39 Assureweb portal.Clerical is paying £3.9m for a 6 per cent share of the providers&#39 combined 40 per cent stake and up-front membership fees.NU is understood to remain the biggest provider shareholder following the […]

Fidelity International awarded EIT contract

Fidelity Investments International has been awarded the contract to manage the assets of the £1.1bn Edinburgh Investment Trust.Fidelity beat off rivals including Baillie Gifford to be awarded management of the trust, which was previously run by Edinburgh Fund Managers.The change will not affect the trust&#39s status as a Scottish registered company. Its annual general meeting […]

Inheritance tax when it is relevant

Neil Jones is Technical Support Manager with Canada Life’s ican Technical Services Team. Canada Life offers a range of wealth management solutions, including retirement income planning, estate planning and investment solutions from a choice of jurisdictions, including the UK, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland. A trust can offer significant advantages when an individual is […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and thought leadership.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm