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Friends Prov assessing employee benefits wrap

Friends Provident is looking at launching an employee benefits wrap proposition.

The firm, which pulled the plug on development of its retail wrap, is conducting detailed research with employers, trustees and potential scheme members on developments in the corporate platform space.

Director of UK corporate James Ward says: “Not everybody wants to lock their money away in a pension for 30 or 40 years. We are investigating whether there are ways in which they can save, and ways in which an employer can help by providing a vehicle to do that or potentially by contributing or subsidising this. We have not come up with a perfect name yet but we are talking about it in terms of a corporate platform.”

Ward says potential developments might include a group Sipp or corporate Isa.

He says the research began before chief executive Trevor Matthews joined in January.

Threesixty partner Phil Young says: “I am not surprised because a lot of providers are looking at employee benefits and the corporate side of things as being particularly profitable and less capital-intensive.”


Sense of value

In January, the ascribable capital value of UK financial services product providers was around 85bn while the estimated capital value of IFAs was only around 6bn to 8bn at best.

To boldly go

TThe announcement that the Financial Services Skills Council might not have its licence renewed provides additional concerns to an already confused marketplace.

Pension complaints up by 10%

Complaints about poor service by pension providers have increased by 10 per cent in the past year, according to The Pensions Advisory Service. TPAS handled almost 8,000 complaints about personal and occupational pension policies in the year to the end of March, despite industry initiatives such as Options, to speed up pension transfers.


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