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IFAs slam mixed messages on Pru contract charges

IFAs are criticising Prudential for giving out mixed messages about repricing its pensions book after UK chief executive Mark Wood said contract char-ges would come down.

Pru told IFAs resolutely in October that it would not be repricing its contracts.

But only days later, Wood announced it would reprice pensions within 1 per cent as part of Pru&#39s future plans.

He said 1 per cent charges were expected across the board of products and repricing of group pensions was planned as part of Pru&#39s plans to focus business on group pensions, annuities, bonds and Isas. IFAs have been waiting for more prov-iders to follow Standard Life and Norwich Union&#39s lead to reprice their books to within 1 per cent after the introduction of stakeholder.

IFA Richard Jacobs of Richard Jacobs Pension & Trustee Services was given a firm no from Pru when he asked if charges would be coming down.

Jacobs says he will move his clients to cheaper contracts if Pru does not change prices soon. He is concerned at a wider attitude within the life office that it is not interested in keeping IFA business on board.

Jacobs says: “To say they were not repricing was arrogance from senior management who are not concerned about giving customers better value. I accept it will cost money to change existing contracts but my responsibility is to get the best deal for my client.

“But these mixed messages about pricing worry me even more. They are worse than arrogance and are a sign of management problems.”

Prudential spokesman Darragh Leeson says: “The plan is to look at reducing the annual management charge on our existing book. The details of how and what will be done are yet to be communicated.”

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