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Julian Gibbs

Leading pension provider Skandia has launched a distinctive alternative to stakeholder pensions designed specifically for the IFA market. In the new pension environment,

IFAs will need to prove genuine added value in recommending non-stakeholder products. This means it is very difficult for any company with stakeholder products to provide a compliance-proof pension arrangement for the IFA market.

The new Skandia MultiPension gives the widest possible investment choice, covering more than 200 funds from 28 managers. It is planning to increase that range to more than 300 funds and cover a further six fund managers by the end of 2001. The arrangement also includes Skandia&#39s transparent with-profits fund, the guaranteed pension fund.

The charges are lower than Skandia&#39s former pension range and the commission paid is at the discretion of the IFA. For those IFAs wishing to advise on a fee basis, the charges are flexible and can be very low. For those IFAs giving a full service to their clients, commission can be increased to 3.3 per cent a year on regular premiums and 2.9 per cent a year for single premiums.

MultiPension is more flexible than any other personal pension plan on the market and, under the new rules, parents and grandparents can contribute on behalf of minors while non-earning spouses can take out a pension plan and qualify for tax relief.

Most pension scheme members can switch their AVCs to a personal pension instead.

MultiPension is, in my opinion, a much better deal than stakeholder pensions. Incidentally, over five years, eight out of the top 10 returns are from unit-linked plans with links to Skandia.

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