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IFAs offered option to outsource transfers

IFAs without authorisation to deal in pension transfers are being offered the facility to outsource their transfers.

The new service is being launched through a series of national roadshows led by IFA Professional Briefing managing director Keith Popplewell.

Popplewell piloted the Pensions Transfer Advisory Service early this year. It aims to remove the compliance and regulatory responsibility from IFAs for transfer business, while allowing them to retain a proportion of the commission.

The initiative is being supported by major life offices including Scottish Equitable, Scottish Life, Standard Life and Zurich IFA.

The 21 seminars will be held in locations from Aberdeen to Exeter and Belfast. It is expected that 1,000 IFAs will attend.

Popplewell hopes the service will process 4,000 transfers in the first year. He says: “This is a totally new concept and will allow IFAs who previously were not active in the transfer market to make the most of the opportunities on offer.”

Scottish Equitable marketing director Ken Hogg says: “Anything which helps in the increasingly complex area of transfers must be a good thing for IFAs and consumers alike.”

l Sofa chairman and Scottish Equitable IFA training manager Peter Williams has warned that IFAs may fall foul of gaps in the proposed stakeholder transfer regulations.

Williams is concerned the rules fail to deal with transfers between occupational schemes and stakeholder.

Existing rules for transfers between occupational schemes and personal pensions require IFAs to hold the G60 qualification.

Williams says: “It is a grey area on which we would love clarity from the FSA. The omission may create a loophole which allows unauthorised advisers to deal inthese transfers.”

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