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NU to launch new online pension facility

Norwich Union is launching a new facility in February, which will allow its pension customers to control their investments online.

The insurer says it has developed the tool, which will be available to direct and advised clients as well as advisers, in close consultation with consumers.

Customers will be able to play around with their fund choices among other things, although there will be caveats urging clients to speak to their advisers before making certain changes.

Norwich Union head of pensions marketing Paul Goodwin says: “We want to help people engage with their pension schemes. We want them to understand the value of what they have got and be able to make active decisions about what they have got. Rather than consumers and advisers being passive around pensions we want them to become proactive around them. They will be able to play around with the funds they are invested in. Where business has been introduced by an adviser, it is absolutely imperative that all parties are engaged. There are certain things customers can alter on their own but there will be caveats in there suggesting they get advice on particular issues.”

Norwich Union has also announced it will reduce commission rates on its Your Pension Select and individual stakeholder pension contracts from January 26, 2009.

The insurer has written to advisers informing them that single premium and transfer commission on these products will reduce from 6.5 per cent to 6 per cent but it has confirmed it has no plans to reduce commission levels on other products.

Goodwin says the move will allow Norwich Union to maintain the quality of its proposition.

He says: “We are looking to maintain the competitive nature of the contracts and the market is telling us we do not need to be paying as much as we perhaps have been. We also want to invest some of the money back into the proposition to really ensure we keep our market leading propositions for customers, which deliver value for money. We think the proposition still gives advisers a competitive level of commission and the contract and fund range offers the client good value for money as well. We are comfortable with out all-round position.”

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