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Get past the rulesto the real product for stakeholder

The timetable for stakeholder is under extreme pressure and it looks as if IFAs may have to take the strain.

The industry is about to get a very sharp reminder that stakeholder remains a concept, not a product.

Warnings about the need to save for retirement are fine but when it comes to getting a customer to sign on the dotted line, IFAs need a product to sell.

Providers and IFAs find themselves caught in a Catch 22 situation which only the regulator can resolve. The PIA wants life offices to show it their Opra-registered corporate stakeholder schemes prior to authorisation but life offices say there is no point in submitting applications until they know what stakeholder will look like.

Life offices say they have an amber light for stakeholder when the looming deadlines suggest they should be on green.

The grand April 2001 launch date may not be under threat yet but the key October deadline for authorisation could fall by the wayside.

The upshot is that IFAs will have less time to cram in the vital groundwork so stakeholder can launch next spring.

Ministers have shown that when they accept there is a problem they can sort it out. This month&#39s announcement of a pension credit is good news which should lift the threat of being punished for saving.

But it is time senior people in the Government and the regulator got together to thrash out the final regulatory details. If the “powers that be” can get their act together, providers and IFAs can help get stakeholder off to the flying start pensions minister Jeff Rooker dreams of.

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Blight at the end of the tunnel

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Gareth Marr

The cheapest way of handling stakeholder communication for IFAs is to do nothing. For many, this is probably the best planning at the moment.Stakeholder should be viewed as two separate and dis-tinct products – an employee benefit arrangement distributed via the employer and a personal financial product for the individual. If your main business is […]

IPAs set to grow slow

The Government needs to take action now to boost industry support for individual pension accounts if they are to have any impact, according to the industryPublic demand for IPAs will also need to be encouraged by life offices and unit trust managers with major promotion.IFA Torquil Clark pensions development manager Tom McPhail says he cannot […]

PFW fits the bill

For once, changes to the Finance Bill may actually achieve what they are meant to. The bill introduces a number of changes to pension fund withdrawal rules from October 1.These changes are designed to ease administration and offer greater flexibilityto scheme members altho-ugh the system implications may prevent many product providers from taking immediate advantage.The […]

Pension - thumbnail

David Cameron appoints former adviser to Tony Blair as new pensions minister

Following a cabinet reshuffle in light of last week’s general election, David Cameron has announced that Ros Altmann will be replacing Steve Webb as pensions minister. As the industry works with one of the largest reforms to the sector in almost a century, the former adviser to Tony Blair has been tasked with ensuring that the pensions revolution does not stray off track.

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