Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) is joining the stakeholder bandwagon with the introduction of its own stakeholder pension.
The pension offers investors a choice of up to six pension funds to invest in. These are all CIS funds and include the UK growth, with-profits, European growth, environmental, US growth and FTSE all-share index tracker. The with-profits fund is also the default fund. Investors can choose any number of the funds, depending on their attitude to risk.
It has a flat annual charge of one per cent and members can take contribution holidays or stop start and change contributions without penalty.
CIS has joined a small number of companies that offer a with-profits fund as part of a stakeholder pension. The only two other providers are Standard Life and Norwich Union, both of which are major players in the pensions market. The reason for this is that many with-profits funds have charges that take them over the one per cent maximum annual management charge laid down by stakeholder legislation.
The CIS pension offers a limited number of pension fund links when compared to similar stakeholder pensions. The Standard Life stakeholder pension offers up to 15 funds, including with-profits, Japanese, property and cautious managed.
Looking at the funds offered by the CIS pension, according to Standard & Poor's the CIS environmental and European growth funds are second quartile, while the UK growth fund is third quartile, based on £1,000 invested on a bid to bid basis over one year to April 2, 2001. The other three funds have not been running for one year.