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Irish stakeholder has an initial charge of 5%

The Irish government is going ahead with its version of stakeholder pensions with a 5 per cent initial charge and 1 per cent annual charge.

The Irish Pension Board will this week approve the new standard personal retirement savings account that is being billed as a low-cost option for people without a pension.

UK product providers say introducing a 5 per cent up-front charge in the UK would kickstart dismal stakeholder sales by giving them room to pay for advice.

From this summer, every Irish employer that does not offer an occupational scheme will have to give access to a SPSRA. Employers are not obliged to contribute.

All SPSRA providers have to provide a default investment strategy that invests in pooled funds and must advise members of the need to obtain financial advice.

Clerical Medical pensions strategy manager Nigel Stammers says: “The original CP121 proposals accepted that 1 per cent excludes advice. That was OK under the DPS but now DPS is gone. If we were allowed to charge for advice within the product then stakeholder would end up looking like the Irish model.”

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