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Lawson expects DWP action to avoid new RU64 debacle

Standard Life believes the Government will ask for FSA help in avoiding a repeat of RU64 in the run-up to the 2012 introduction of personal accounts.

It expects the Department for Work and Pensions to announce it will seek a solution in partnership with the FSA to alleviate adviser anxieties about giving pension advice ahead of personal accounts.

The department’s response to feedback received during the consultation on the personal accounts White Paper is due to be released this week.

Standard Life head of pensions policy John Lawson says: “The FSA needs to make it clear that personal accounts are the most basic scheme you can get and therefore, for other pensions, the wider fund choice, ability to pay for advice out of charges, flexible retirement options and so on are sufficient to justify the sale of such products over personal accounts.”

Lawson also predicts that the maximum contribution cap will be reduced from £5,000 to £3,600 to fit in with the current tax system.

Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: “When people were talking about ditching or keeping RU64, I was saying they should modernise the rule, saying why this is suitable given that personal accounts are coming.”

At a conference hosted by Punter Southall in Surrey last week, Association of British Insurers director general Stephen Haddrill said: “We need to know if we can arrange pensions now without being accused later of misselling because we did not advise people to wait for a personal account.”

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