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IFAs and life offices slam pension sharing deadline

The Pension Schemes Office is under fire from IFAs and life offices over

its deadline for the inclusion of pension sharing on divorce provisions for

new schemes.

The deadline for the new provisions, which must be included in all new

personal pensions and occupational schemes, has been set for this week.

But providers and IFAs were only made aware of the new deadline, which

affects all new and pipeline cases waiting approval, after the May Day bank

holiday.

The PSO told life offices and IFAs of the need to comply to the new rules

through Update 64, which was dated April 28, and gave companies just 12

days to ensure new schemes comply.

The move is especially problematic for small self-administered schemes as

many rely on transfers into the scheme to facilitate loans to its members.

However, it is forbidden to move without official approval. Other schemes

can potentially receive interim approval until complying with the new

criteria.

The problem has been exacerbated by the PSO&#39s refusal to provide

guidelines on the form that the provisions should take.

IFAs are complaining they they still have not updated details although

life offices have received details through the ABI.

Richard Jacobs Pension and Trustee Services managing director Richard

Jacobs says: “Effectively, the PSO is putting a hold on approving all

pension schemes because of a nonsensical belief they can issue a document

and act upon it within days when I have not even been supplied with any

model rules.”

Marathon man and Chislehurst IFA Brian Dennehy may be in the running to be

the toughest man in financial services, having attempted a gruelling

150-mile race in the scorching Sahara desert. Brian is recuperating after

the event which saw him run on red-hot stones on badly blistered feet in a

sterling effort for charity Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Correspondent&#39s Week, p31

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