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GPP charges

Axa Sun Life is slashing char ges across its group pension range to bring all schemes in line with the 1 per cent stakeholder charging cap.

The move will see a pha sed introduction of new char ges to align existing group pensions with Axa&#39s pre-stakeholder offering New World, which launches at the end of this month.

A new Bristol-based IFA servicing centre is also plan ned for the first quarter of next year. It will have the key function of persuading advisers that sticking with Axa constitutes best advice.

The company is hoping its strategy will stop mass migration of business to lower-charging sch emes and follows high-profile charge cuts by Standard Life and Prudential.

Axa will implement two different strategies to bring 12 existing charging structures within the 1 per cent cap which apply to Sun Life sch emes and the older Equity & Law book respectively.

The cuts will be phased in between December this year and April 2002. They will have the knock-on effect of squeezing commission levels.

Axa would not confirm the costs of the move but head of business development Step hen Burgess says: “There are financial implications but the other alternative was to lose the business. It is a question of balancing the two evils.

“We took a complete view of our entire old group book and its charging structure and were determined to find a solution for all these schemes.

“We will be streamlining the business with a new outward-facing service centre. Part of its function will be to provide IFAs with documented evidence to demonstrate that best advice for clients to remain with Axa.”


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