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Fees fear for stakeholder&#39s undoing


Allied Dunbar believes stakeholder is in danger of failing unless consumers overcome their hatred of having to pay fees for advice.


The life office commissioned Dataquest Research Consultants to conduct focus group interviews with six groups of ten people around the country and found that the vast majority were reluctant to part with cash up front for pension advice because they have never had to in the past.


It found only a handful of people in the six groups said they were confident using the internet or newspapers as their only source of information before buying complex financial products.


But the vast majority said they do not trust their own ability to make important financial decisions and would like reassurance they are making the right choice.


The research suggests people were more interested in being given advice by someone they trust and are not concerned whether the adviser is independent or tied to a bank, building society or insurance company.


People felt tied advisers were more likely to be better qualified than IFAs because they would be given funding and time off by their employers to sit exams, although most interviewees said they believed IFAs are now better qualified than they were 10 years ago.


Allied Dunbar pension marketing manager Ian Price says: “As a pension provider we are worried about the conclusions of this research and the implications it has for stakeholder pensions.


“We want stakeholder to work but if consumers will not pay separately for advice, and consumers have made it clear they do want face to face advice and will not buy a pension off the shelf, then consumers will not buy stakeholder. It&#39s as simple as that.”

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