View more on these topics

Industry picks up pieces after Brown’s bombshell

Following Chancellor Gordon Brown’s Sipp bombshell in December 2005, life and pension offices must be wondering what other surprises the Treasury has up its sleeve this year.

Standard Life is optimistically lobbying the Government to reverse its decision by allowing buy-to-let property in Sipps. Scottish Equitable is asking the Treasury to allay fears of a postponement to pension simplification by issuing a formal statement confirming that A-Day is still in the diary for April 6.

The Government will release its White Paper on the Pensions Commission proposals in the spring, when the industry will find out whether or not Adair Turner’s proposals have been kicked into touch.

Providers have been challenged to come up with an answer by February to Turner’s idea of a National Pension Savings Scheme, with a 0.3 per cent annual management charge.

However, the industry will not be able to see how the European Union’s age discrimination legislation fits into the new pension regime until it comes into force next October.

The Treasury, through the Paymaster General, is set to issue a written ministerial statement on inheritance tax and simplification in March. It is expected that new contracting-out rebates will also be announced in the spring while the Parliamentary Ombudsman will issue its delayed report on whether the Government should pay compensation to workers who lost their pensions when their employers went bust before April 2005.

Standard Life’s demutualisation should go ahead in the summer but whether the Sipp U-turn will affect its flotation price remains to be seen.

Many commentators believe that A-Day will not increase significantly the volume of pension business next year, with growth remaining broadly similar to 2005 levels. There will undoubtedly be fallout from clients who were advised to set up Sipps in anticipation of holding residential property, particularly those who switched out of regulated personal pensions.

A-Day will also provide a real test for providers’ systems. There will inevitably be problems and it will be down to IFAs to highlight these, so expect another year of upheaval.


Lazards tops Morningstar Isa table

Morningstar has awarded Lazard Asset Management its top rating in its Isa league table with 4.14 stars out of five.St James’s Place came second with an average of 3.91 stars. Artemis, Framlington and Mellon completed the top five. Neptune Investment Management was the most improved fund group, rising 22 spots to sixth place. It had […]

Magian Mutual closes to new business

Professional indemnity insurer Magian Mutual has closed to new business after haemorrhaging 30 per cent of its members in the last year. The closure follows persistent speculation that the mutual, established by PI Direct in 2003 to bring new capacity in a hard market, was struggling to cope with soft market conditions. Head of Magian […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and thought leadership.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm