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Make A-Day while the sun shines

Origen technical manager Bob Perkins says: “In common with other providers who are looking to secure business ahead of and after April 6, 2006, Winterthur has updated its s32 offering. As we would expect, it has designed a very flexible product with a wide range of options, including self-investment.”

Perkins feels the charging structure is modern, flexible and transparent, while the option to take in specie transfers may be of particu- lar interest. “Also of interest is the facility to switch to the self-invested option without incurring penalties, allow- ing those who want to widen investment choices in the future to do so,” he says.

Perkins feels the basic product charges are competitive and thinks the alternative one-off lifetime option may be appealing. “The product literature is clear, concise and well presented although the information is not necessarily all in one place,” he says.

Examining the negative features of the plan, Perkins says: “There is not much to dislike, based upon what I have seen.” However, he feels that when dealing with clients for whom there is no urgency in making a decision, IFAs might want to see the full post-A-Day offering before making any final recommendations.

Perkins feels the flexibility of the plan may suit post- A-Day planning but some features of the new regime may or may not feature in plans effected before April 6, 2006. He says: “Winterthur, in common with other providers, has yet to decide precisely how the rules for pre-A-Day contracts will be amended.”

Scanning the market for potential competitors, Perkins says: “There has been a lot of interest in this market in the run up to A-Day and several providers have updated their plans. I see the main competitors continuing to change as products are introduced and refined, while regulations are clarified.

“At present, Clerical Medical, Skandia, GE and Axa will all present Winterthur with some competition.”

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