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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

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