The resignation of David Blunkett as Work and Pensions Secretary and his quick replacement with Blairite John Hutton could undermine the timetable for reform, warn industry experts.Hutton is the fourth Work and Pensions Secretary in little over a year. Alan Johnson took over from Andrew Smith in September 2004 before being moved to the DTI in the post-election reshuffle and replaced by Blunkett. Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says the timing of the resignation could not have been worse, coming less than a month before the publication of the Turner report. McPhail says it will be impossible for Hutton to get up to speed with pensions in the next few months. He believes his influence will first be seen in the Government’s official response to Turner, due next spring. He says the challenge is for the Government to announce any reforms by spring 2007, as any later would be too close to the next election and genuine reforms are likely to be unpopular with the electorate. He says, unlike most of the Treasury, Blair is still open to persuasion over the possibility of a universal or citizen’s pension, so another Blairite in the job could make this avenue more likely. Hutton says he will press ahead with the Government’s “radical welfare agenda”. Cicero Consulting chief corporate counsel Iain Anderson says the change means the pension timetable may slip back, with the Turner report possibly delayed until December, as Hutton will be concentrating on the incapacity benefit green paper, also due this month. McPhail says: “It will be hard for Hutton to affect the agenda over the next few months as he has so much to get up to speed on. His first influence should be in the Government’s spring response but the challenge will then be on to suggest reform by spring 2007.”
The United Group is encouraging mortgage brokers to start making plans for the launch of home information packs and not feel threatened by them.Concern has been expressed that brokers could be sidelined by HIP providers, who could offer clients a mortgage proposition at the time of arranging a HIP. The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has, […]
Recent statements that Origo has decided not to enter the mortgage standards market sound to me like a victory for common sense over ambition. It has already been identified by several mortgage players that significant volumes of new applications are already submitted electronically.
Sottish Widows has been appointed by Thinc Destini to its multi-tie panel. This deal will enable Scottish Widows to offer Thincs multi-tied advisers a range of individual pensions, corporate pensions and protection products. Scottish Widows distribution development director Richard Anderson says: Scottish Widows is delighted to be chosen by Thinc Destini as a multi-tie partner. […]
Critical-illness insurance providers are coming under increasing pressure to release claim data, says Nicola York
Dr. Andrew Lo, Founder and Chief Investment Strategist at AlphaSimplex, discusses why it is difficult to keep a long-term perspective in short-term markets.
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Another investment manager offering enterprise investment schemes has alerted clients of a 10 per cent drop in value for one of its portfolios following new Mifid rules. Mifid II, which came into force on 3 January, requires firms to notify clients when the overall value of their portfolio, relative to its value at the beginning of each reporting […]
The recent enquiry by the work and pensions select committee has reignited the debate about the future of collective defined contribution schemes. Whether these sort of schemes can be incorporated into the current UK pensions landscape is a moot point. Let’s consider some of the arguments for and against CDC. First of all, it is […]
Retirement interest-only mortgages are set to become more popular following the FCA removing hurdles to selling them. The regulator sees RIO mortgages as a possible aid to the waves of maturing interest-only loans with no repayment strategy. However, the FCA also wants RIO mortgages to be sold more widely, for example as an additional option […]