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Hutton calling on advisers to join pension reform debate

Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton wants IFAs to contribute to the consultation and discussion on pension reform after the Turner report, emphasising the important role played by advisers. He said the report will mark the start of a debate that will lead to the publication of Government proposals next spring. Hutton told delegates that any plan to reform the pension system must pass five key tests. He said the Government will ask if the proposed policies promote personal responsibility and if they are fair, affordable, simple and sustainable.

Hutton said primary responsibility for security in old age has to rest with the individual and their families, with the state providing a platform below which no one should be allowed to fall.

He said the Government will approach the report with an open mind and claimed that nothing has been ruled out. He refused to be drawn on reports suggesting Chancellor Gordon Brown is opposed to Turner’s proposals.

He said: “My view is that IFAs play an important role in the debate to make sure solutions are genuine. We welcome the contribution of IFAs and others in the pension debate.”

Scottish Widows head of pensions market development Ian Naismith says: “We particularly welcome the emphasis on personal responsibility and the pension industry will have an important role in encouraging this through the provision of suitable savings vehicles and guidance for consumers.”

Webline is to power the new general insurance and mortgage business being set up by Bankhall founders Paul Hogarth and Simon Taylor.

It will be offered to Bankhall members and the wider market with a view to creating a major distribution hub for the mortgage and GI adv- iser marketplace.

Hogarth is still at Bankhall as a consultant while Taylor left the firm in August.

Webline says work is under way to provide protection and ASU quotes and e-submission services, integrated links to Mortgage Brain and Trigold and a home contents and insurance proposition.

The portal, celebrating its 10th birthday, is to launch the industry’s first aggregated new business tracking service from January. The service allows providers to send status information to adv- isers about new business in progress.

Firms have to register for the service with providers.

The portal has also exp- anded its data integration with software provider 1st and plans similar arrangements with other back- office system providers in the new year.

Webline executive chairman Paul Holland says: “This new offering will set the standards by which others will be measured and Webline is delighted to have been chosen to pull the technol- ogy together.”

Prudential head of ebusiness Jon Cross says: “Pru are working with Webline on the design of its new business tracking service and initial signs show that the system will be a great success.”

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