Aegon says Government-subsidised advice should play a key role in the personal accounts savings scheme.The firm’s response to the Pensions White Paper closely resembles the ABI submission, and says the Government should provide subsidies for generic advice at key decision points. The generic advice would focus on basic affordability, debt management, affect on with means-tested benefits, nature of investment risk and investment choice if offered and adequacy of contributions for retirement aspirations. Aegon says the introduction of personal accounts must avoid “unintended collateral damage” to existing pensions provision and the threat of levelling down. It says employers should be encouraged to retain and extend good schemes and go beyond minimum contribution levels. This could take the form of Government-subsidised support to help employers understand and comply with their new obligations. Aegon calls for a joint Government and industry campaign to promote the benefits of pension saving before a personal accounts scheme is introducedHead of corporate affairs Francis McGee says: “Personal accounts are just one piece of the jigsaw and the Government must not lose sight of the bigger picture.”
The FSA has fined Braemar Financial Planning £182,000 for systemic failings in its sales processes for pension unlocking. It found that between November 2002 and November 2005, Braemar persistently failed to collect sufficient information about their customers before making recommendations and failed to explain all the alternative options.
Unumprovident has enhanced its risk management processes aimed at creating an easier application procedure for its income protection products.Changes include no longer automatically linking requests for medical evidence to the amount of income protection requested, instead evidence will only be required where the application disclosure requires it.The provider says it expects this approach to significantly […]
Investors in student halls of residence can put their property in a Sipp but HM Revenue and Customs has laid down strict criteria to avoid exploitation. Following the Chancellor’s last-minute decision to ban residential property in Sipps, the Finance Act 2006 included an exemption for “a hall of residence for students”. The exemption caused some […]
Bupa has launched an online quotation and application system for advisers on its protection products in a bid to reduce its processing times.The provider, which has been accused of poor service levels in the past, worked with a panel of IFAs to develop the system available on its critical illness and life cover products.Bupa Individual […]
This month will see the release of a TV advertising campaign to raise awareness of auto-enrolment among small and micro employers. It arrives before an unprecedented number of businesses approach their staging date.
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Advisers are being targeted by claims management companies offering payment for referring complaints related to defined benefit pension transfers. Capital Asset Management chief executive Alan Smith was sent a letter this month from Birkenhead-based firm Pension Justice, which claims to be a “missold pension compensation specialist”. The letter asks advisers if they have seen clients […]
Patience is an underrated skill in business. Do not fall into the trap of making decisions too quickly and regretting them later. It is important to make decisions when you run a business. Indeed, there are some situations where making any decision is better than analysis paralysis. However, there are also times when you need […]
Aegon has called on the government to double the tax exemption for employer-arranged pension advice. A report from Aegon and the CBI in March found 56 per cent of employers think the government should extend the tax exemption for employer-provided pension advice to more than £500. Now Aegon wants to see that exemption doubled to […]