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NU move shows stakeholders just aren&#39t working

At last, Norwich Union, one of the major supporters of stakeholder pensions, has effectively admitted that SHPs are not commercially viable. Rather than tell the government the &#39facts of life&#39 and dump stakeholders, its solution for the future is to cross-subsidise the distribution of stakeholders with non-charge-capped pensions.

It is indefensible that one customer should, effectively, be required to pay part of another customer&#39s contribution.

Norwich Union, Legal & General and one or two other significant players were instrumental in allowing this cynical, incompetent, dishonest Government to bully the industry towards commercial suicide. If they had taken a stand against Government interference, there might still be some confidence in pensions.

The financial services industry is now being dictated to by civil servants and other Government officials. They squander vast sums of money but are totally unaccountable for their mistakes and inefficiencies. Yet they have the effrontery to dictate the maximum product charges which can be applied without regard to the production, running and distribution costs borne by the provider.

The fact is, if Norwich Union were now to double, treble or quadruple its commission payments, I would continue to tell my clients the truth as I see it. In my view, the majority of standard rate taxpayers should avoid making voluntary contributions into pensions.

Having experienced the stakeholder, this is surely the time for the industry to refuse to sell Sandler products.

William J Wells



FSA backs trail with service

The FSA has hit back at calls by politicians to ban trail commission but say IFAs must prove they are giving ongoing advice. It says its research shows that many consumers prefer a commission-based method of remuneration to payment by fees. However, it will tighten up its rules on trail to ensure that it is […]

Package deals

I am an employer who wishes to update the benefits package for my staff. I want to ensure I am competitive and utilise technology wherever possible. What can an IFA do to help me? Employers who offer attractive benefits will retain staff and recruit more easily. In the recent Origen employee benefits survey, two-thirds of […]

DUFFY on Mortgages

In August, I strike a meaningful wager with our technical director that base rate had peaked for the year at 4.75 per cent. Something to be smug about you might think. Yet I am not. Mervyn King&#39s unsolicited and now infamous after dinner remark regarding the housing market will come to define his tenure as […]

Be wary of network promises – PMN

The Professional Mortgage Network is warning intermediaries who are still considering joining a mortgage network to avoid aligning themselves with organisations promising fast-track authorisation and guarantees of authorisation being granted. Managing director Dale Knight says: &#34At best, it is irresponsible on the part of the network to paint a picture to a potential member that […]


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