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Don&#39t be a test cash dummy

Interactive Investor has launched what its describes as phase two of its Interactive IFA service (http://www.ifa.co.uk). Although a fuller review of this service and a more detailed overview of the benefits or otherwise of their services to the market will appear in the near future, I do have some initial reactions.

Most of this is nothing out of the ordinary and certainly not things that are not available elsewhere or being developed by insurers to provide to IFAs free of charge. There is, however, one interesting service.

This enables IFAs to set up client portfolio details under a confidential code number and identify changes which they would want notified to them. This is a seriously good idea. Now for the bad news – at this stage, you can only set up 20 clients for the service.

Most IFAs I know have more than 20 clients. What Interactive Investor really wants you to do is test the system and tell it how to get it right. Next year, I am told it will launch a version of this which will allow IFAs to keep details of as many clients as you want on the system, but guess what, then the IFA will to have to pay!

This introduces a concept in the area of client policy information that I believe should be strangled at birth – the IFA pays! How would IFAs feel if they had to pay for every quotation from The Exchange? At the same time, the company would like your help in developing the service.

As if this were not enough, you are tied to a service it runs and control, it holds the method of you continuing to be able to supply a service to your clients. Personally, I think this sounds to me like an excellent example of the Hotel California syndrome – you can check in any time you like but you can never leave. I will leave readers to form their own opinion if they would want to play this game.

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Guide: how to… communicate with your pension members

Effective communication of your pension scheme is a large part of getting auto-enrolment right. Delivering the same message to all employees is not necessarily the way to go. To assist you with the communication of your pension scheme, we have provided some key areas to think about, such as:

  • What to consider when segmenting your workforce
  • How to communicate to pension scheme members at the right time in their member lifecycle
  • What topics you should be discussing with your pension members
  • The new pension freedoms and the importance of communicating them

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