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Hargreaves Lansdown backing for generic advice

Hargreaves Lansdown has backed generic advice for per-sonal accounts, saying that it will be sufficient to determine suitability of membership for people close to retirement.

The firm says it will be eas-ier for generic advice to ascertain whether someone close to state retirement age is suitable for auto-enrolment than if they still have 20 years of their working life remaining.

Hargreaves Lansdown says all employees above the proposed minimum age of 22 and below state pension age should be auto-enrolled into personal accounts.

It says personal accounts should be subject to the same commercial self-financing pressures as any profit-making organisation.

It adds that the level and shape of charges should be dictated by the Delivery Authority and based on anticipated levels of income and expenditure and any start-up loans should be on fully commercial terms.

Head of pension research Tom McPhail says he shares the industry’s concerns over means-testing but is convinced the Government has accepted that some people will lose out for the greater good.

He says: “For the Government to backtrack on personal accounts is inconceivable. I believe its philosophy is that some people will lose out as casualties of war and it is quite unrepentant about this. It is certainly not going to reinvent the basic state pension. There will be generic advice and personal accounts. It is up to us to minimise casualties.”

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