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Chancellor to keep it simple on pensions

It would be nice to predict an unsurprising year for pensions, when everything happens the way it was planned, but recent history suggests otherwise.

I expect more defined-benefit schemes to stop future accrual for everyone, as the true impact of Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith&#39s announcement on June 11, 2003 hits employers.

The actuarial profession will carry out a fundamental review of the way that transfer values are calculated. People will be horrified by the solvency disclosure figures of defined-benefit schemes.

The Pensions Bill will make its way through Parliament but implementation timetables will slip. The Chancellor will go for the new simplified tax regime because the alternative is much worse. The stakeholder charge cap issue will be resolved but not in a straightforward way.

Pension IFAs will have plenty to keep them occupied but that is nothing new.


Compensation free-for-all

At the end of a meeting to discuss a new remortgage and existing endowments, I asked a client what had brought about her complaint regarding the endowment advice as her policies were on target and she has been happy with our advice in the past, as confirmed in her complaint letter. This is the client&#39s […]

Kitchen leaves Lifeboat for new challenge

IFA group Lifeboat Financial chief executive David Kitchen has resigned after spending three years developing the business.Kitchen says he is reviewing his options and plans to stay in the financial services sector.Bill Wynn has been appointed acting chief executive. He joined the group in October 2002 as chief financial officer.Kitchen was one of the founders […]

Abbey launches two new structured plans

Abbey is launching two structured products offering investors growth with full protection. The protected growth plan will return 100 per cent of any growth in the FTSE 100 over five and a half years, no matter how far the index falls. If the plan is up at least 30 per cent at the end of […]

A recipe for PI but menu is undercooked

I am reasonably optimistic for the IFA sector. I think they have been through the worst of it. Professional indemnity is still an unresolved issue but I believe it will be a short-term problem, with more mutual schemes springing up.2004 will be an opportunity for IFAs who are really on the ball to voice their […]


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