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Contracting out is top target in pension clean-up

IFAs and providers are welcoming the Department for Work and Pensions&#39 review of pension legislation as a huge opportunity to clear away dead wood from the system.

Former NAPF chairman Alan Pickering is to head the independent review of private pension legislation. The Government says it is determined to simplify the pension system and reduce compliance costs.

Contracting-out rules are topping the list of what both IFAs and product providers say must be reformed, with calls for policy information to be dramatically improved.

Money-purchase schemes and annuity purchase rules are also high on the list of areas which are thought to be in need of simplification.

IFAs would like to see the system of pension legislation reduced to only two or three levels.

Many in the industry believe the biggest opportunity to simplify the regime was missed in the development of stakeholder and they say that a radical overhaul of the system is long overdue.

The review will identify a range of options for change, which Pickering will present to the DWP in July 2002.

Scottish Equitable pensions development director Stewart Ritchie says: “We have reached the stage where the system is so complex that practitioners can be diligent and still make mistakes.I hope that Pickering will be gunning for contracting out, where additional complexity is being introduced with the state second pension.”

Torquil Clark pensions development manager Tom McPhail says: “There was a missed opportunity to simplify the regime when stakeholder legislation was formed. This is an opportunity to tidy up the whole system.”

Wentworth Rose managing director Philip Rose says: “Pensions have been crying out for simplification for years. I hope there is a root and branch reorganisation of the system. This has fantastic potential to reduce compliance costs, which are currently enormous.”


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Independents crucial, says Kelly

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Roadshows to offer e-commerce advice

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Schroders calls for product comparison

Schroders has suggested that IFAs should be required to provide clients with a minimum number of comparable products when recommending investments. It supports a strong independent advice market but advocates a greater degree of regulation.

Neptune video: Indian valuations and Modi’s pro-investment agenda

Kunal Desai, Head of Indian Equities, discusses his expectations for the Indian market and highlights the key indicators that he is watching for 2015.

In the video, Kunal addresses:

• Indian equity valuations and the importance of stock selection in gaining exposure to the earnings upgrade cycle

• The BJP’s strengthening ambition in its pro-reform, pro-investment agenda


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