View more on these topics

O come, all ye party faithful

This is set to be an unusual Budget in that few commentators expect a fully fledged Finance Bill to have time to wend its way through Parliament before a general election. It is in the details of the bill that the really interesting items for advisers can often be found.

Will there be sweeteners for savers? I doubt it, because a key objective of this Budget will be to combat voter apathy and get the faithful into the polling booths – and the faithful are unlikely to be over-impressed with concessions for savers.

A good popular move would be to do something with annuities. There is plenty of evidence that the annuity trap is causing problems for many pensioners and it could be a real killer in the future for those with only modest stakeholder pots.

Dr Oonagh McDonald and her working party have shown one way round this obstacle. But I expect promises of action rather than action itself.

The Treasury may want to use the Budget to show pro-industry credentials by abolishing stamp duty on purchases of securities but I am not holding my breath.

Technical changes to help individual pension accounts are likely to be high on the legislative agenda.


&#39WP surrender values plucked out of the air&#39

Surrender values on traditional with-profits policies could be challenged by policyholders because life offices cannot calculate them accurately, say experts and IFAs. The Faculty and Institute of Actuaries&#39 working party report into with-profits shows many life office admin systems are inadequate and incapable of calculating accurate asset share or recording them on a policy by […]

Brown set to play safe

The UK is enjoying its longest period of sustained low inflation since the 1960s, interest rates are at their lowest for the longest period since 1970 and there is a surplus in public finances. Historically, this would have provided an opportunity for a Chancellor to take a few risks to produce a desired election result. […]

A consumer&#39s view

The report from the actuarial profession&#39s working party on transparency and with-profits, published in January, is, predictably, nothing more than a whitewash job. It recommends little that will restore confidence in the industry following the Equitable Life debacle. “It really means no change,” says an industry insider. “The recommendations to adopt a specific reporting model […]

FSA pilots consumer information campaign

The FSA is launching an advertising campaign aimed at consumers who are baffled by financial products. The first ever effort on the part of the regulator will involve radio and press advertisements and be initially tested in Manchester, and Tyne and Wear. It will be released to the rest of the country later this year. […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm