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Johnson&#39s view undermines PIA requirement

What excellent news from Melanie Johnson that stakeholder pensions can be bought without taking advice (Money Marketing, March 22).

This means IFAs do not need to provide advice about stakeholder when discussing retirement provision with clients but instead will be within their rights to say that stakeholder pensions exist and clients should go and find out about the products themselves.

If, as Ms Johnson states, “investors should be able to get a good deal without needing to pay for advice” then, logically, those who do seek advice should expect to pay for it. What Ms Johnson has done, quite rightly, is to obviate the need for any IFA to provide advice for a product for which they will not get paid.

Of course, the fact that her comments completely undermine the PIA requirement of November 20, 2000″for recommendations of personal pensions to justify why the product is as suitable as a stakeholder scheme” appears to have been overlooked.

As a result of Ms Johnson&#39s advice, the onus for proving that a personal pension scheme is as good as its stakeholder equivalent falls entirely on the consumer, unless that consumer pays the appropriate fee for advice.

Talk about being hoist by one&#39s own petard.

Philip Thomas

Thomas Financial Planning, St Helens


Credit Suisse gets adventurous

CREDIT SUISSETrans-Adventure IsaType: Oeic maxi Isa.Aim: Growth by investing in global post venture capital fund and transatlantic fund.Minimum investment: Lump sum £3,000.Maximum investment: £7,000.Catmarked: No.Investment choice: Global post venture capital fund 50 per cent, transatlantic fund 50 per cent.Charges: Initial 5.25 per cent, annual 1.5 per cent.Special offer: Initial charge reduced to 3.25 per cent […]

Autif shake-up for investment sectors

Autif&#39s executive committee has given the go-ahead for an overhaul of investment fund sector classifications on May 1.The most notable change will see the UK All Companies sector, which presently comprises 300 funds, split into three new sub-sectors – active, tracker and ethical. The change is being made foll-owing industry complaints that the sector was […]

ScotEq pension error sparks unprecedented move by NU

A £172,000 bungle by Scottish Equitable could lead to the premature unwinding of a pensioner&#39s annuity with another life office.In what is thought to be an unprecedented move, Norwich Union has agreed to surrender an annuity bought by Sussex pensioner Gordon Derby six years ago despite clear terms in the original contract forbidding the release […]

L&G offers online direct debit Isa facility

Legal & General is extending its online purchasing facility to allow applications for regular savings Isas to be made.Investors can compile and submit their direct debit online and choose investments from 23 Isa funds. The minimum monthly investment is £30.L&G retail investment director Michael Hayden says: “Whilst many investors will see recent market setbacks as […]

Where next for the price of oil?

Having stabilised at around $65 a barrel, many investors are questioning if the price of oil will rise, and when. Richard Hulf provides his view. Richard Hulf, manager of the Artemis Global Energy Fund, sets out his thoughts about how the oil price may move through the next six months. At the start of the […]


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