Norwich Union is to scrap initial charges and boost commission in a bid to improve individual personal pension sales and switch its focus to higher-net-worth customers.The company revamped its pension strategy last October by writing all new pension policies under a single scheme and allowing customers to switch easily between products. Director of pensions Angela MacDonald says individual pension sales have been hampered by initial charges and advisers struggling to differentiate between its Your Pension Select, personal pension and stakeholder products. As well as scrapping initial charges, minimum monthly payments will be doubled from 100 to 200 and minimum lump-sum payments will be doubled from 5,000 to 10,000. Big fund discounts will be cut to offset the removal of the initial charges and NU is introducing stricter clawback terms to discourage churning. Enhanced commission will be offered from September 25, 2006 until March 31, 2007. MacDonald says the changes are designed to attract more loyal, higher-premium customers and break away from the declining stakeholder market in the run up to an NPSS-style savings scheme. Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford supports the removal of the initial charge but says: “Norwich Union still seems to want to buy market share by offering enhanced commission terms. It is interesting that it is doing this because received wisdom is that indemnity commission is not long for this world.” MacDonald says: “Our individual personal pension has been out of favour and drifting down very gently. Offering good commission terms is a way of making us get noticed again but it is not part of our long-term strategy.”
BM Solutions has introduced a near-prime range for borrowers with up to £500 of county court judgments.Rates begin at 5.15 per cent and it adds a new category to BM’s range which also include bands for borrowers with £1,500 and £3,500 of CCJs.Products in the near prime 500 range include a tracker at base rate […]
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Consumer confusion over time-bars could lead to a rise in next year’s Financial Ombudsman Service budget. Chief ombudsman Walter Merricks warns that the service will be tied up increasingly in dealing with consumers who have been time-barred. He says time-barring may look an open and shut case to many in the industry but for consumers […]
As we approach the two-year milestone of auto-enrolment, employers have had the opportunity to truly assess the capabilities of their chosen support. They are also now realising that getting to the staging date was the easy part, and that support is required for almost every aspect of the day to day running of their scheme. With the three-year re-enrolment window coinciding for many with the total removal of commission and Active Member Discounts from pension-related products and services, as well as the introduction of the pension charge cap in April 2015, many employers will have no choice but to review their support options. But, what is involved in transitioning your auto-enrolment scheme away from your current support options? This guide from Johnson Fleming aims to outline some of these key areas and provide information and discussion points on what you need to consider.
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The Financial Services Compensation Scheme will automatically compensate hundreds of clients of a collapsed discretionary fund manager, but other investors will have to wait another five months to get their money back. London-based Beaufort Securities has been investigated by both the FCA and US authorities. An indictment from the US Department of Justice alleges that […]
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The FCA has reiterated its warnings that advisers outsourcing defined benefit transfer advice to firms with relevant qualifications cannot divorce themselves from responsibility for the eventual recommendation. While existing FCA rules require additional qualifications to advise on DB transfers, and the FCA has written to all firms who have DB transfer permissions as part of […]