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Clerical bids to double share

Clerical Medical is unveiling the first stage of a radical five-year plan to nearly double its IFA life and pension market share by revamping its pension policies.

The life office is aiming to boost its IFA market share to 8 per cent from 4.5 per cent. It claims it will achieve this by overhauling its products and admin service.

Clerical Medical will unveil a new pension contract in January as the first stage of the plan.

The new pension policy has three options which include allowing IFAs to choose a contract with either a high early surrender value or high maturity value. IFAs can also trade off allocation rates to reduce any exit charges.

The Maturity Plus option has an allocation rate of 102 per cent with a standard exit charge. The Balanced option gives a 101 per cent allocation rate with reduced exit penalties. The Flexibility option has an allocation rate of 100 per cent with no exit charges.

All options have a 1 per cent fund charge with a 0.8 per cent bonus after an agreed period. Plan fee is £3.10 a month.

The policy is being launched after research to find what IFAs want from a pension policy.

Clerical says 66 per cent of IFAs want a policy with a high maturity value. But over one-third require a contract which offers a high early surrender value or an average maturity value and an average transfer value.

Clerical is also launching a market research service to help IFAs find ways to boost their business. Spokesman Tony Bloomer says: "The flexibility of the product is key, as is the need for flexible support. We are a traditional life office at the moment and that must change."

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