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GAD proposes retaining differential Serps rebates

The Government Actuary&#39s Department has disappointed the pension industry with its recommendations to retain differential contracting-out rebates for personal and occupational pensions.

In the GAD&#39s five-yearly consultative document on rebate levels for contracted-out pension arrangements, Government Actuary Chris Daykin recommends keeping the current rebate levels.

Many pension experts would like to see the Government return to flat rebate levels for all schemes, claiming differential benefits are unfair.

Scottish Life head of pensions strategy Steve Bee says: “I don&#39t know why you have one benefit level for one scheme and one for another. It is unfair and I am disappointed differential benefits are set to stay.”

Pensions Management Institute vice-president Ian Eggleden says: “We would like to see a level paying field for the different types of schemes.”

The GAD report is also criticised for recommending that future rebates under the new second state pension will be calculated using the current Serps basis even after Serps is replaced in April 2002. Some experts claim this adds to the confusion surrounding the future of contracting out.

Scottish Equitable pensions development manager Steve Cameron says: “The whole future of contracting-out is so very complex, it is almost surreal. Serps will no longer exist but rebates will not relate to S2P.”

Netball is in the same league as ice-hockey, football and scuba-diving when it comes to the dangers of injury faced in sports, according to financial services and charitable group Foresters.

The group says this explains the high levels of applications from netball players for its sports injury plan. Head of marketing and communications Stephen Dilworth says: “I didn&#39t realise it was such a dangerous game. It seems there are a lot of hand, joint, knee and ankle injuries.”


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