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Hargreaves Lansdown wins giant pension contract

Hargreaves Lansdown has clinched a deal to provide pension services to global oil giant BP in the latest stage in a drive into the traditional territory of employee benefits consultants.

The IFA will provide annuity services for additional voluntary contributions held by BP&#39s 28,000 active and deferred final-salary scheme members and all money purchase employees.

BP is the latest in a string of blue-chip companies to sign up with HL for annuity service, including J Sainsbury, Marconi, ITN, Xerox and Rentokil Initial. It is in talks with another FTSE 100 company for a similar deal expected to be announced shortly.

HL says it is capitalising on pressure on the global employee benefits consultants which has been brought about by pensions simplification, the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution, the 1 per cent cap and improved technology.

Pensions research manager Tom McPhail says: “For a long time, the employment benefit consultants have enjoyed a cosy relation with the big companies but the world is changing fast.

“We are showing that we can provide more efficient and cost-effective service in the defined-contribution environment.

Mercer European partner Robert Ivey said: “You cannot say appointing the annuity scheme is undermining the central employee benefit consultant relationship. But IFAs are increasingly seeing big corporate clients as a big prize.”

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