I have argued for 30 years for a proper open market option and at every stage I have seen the self-interest of insurance companies block it. A while back at an annuities conference, I asked an ABI representative why they allowed their members to sell inferior products. I said: “If they do not want to be in the annuity market, why do they foist their rates, often 15 to 20 per cent below the best available, on their loyal customers?” Amazingly, an actuary from an Edinburgh-based life company (not Standard Life) asked for the chance to reply. She said that they did want to be in the market but that they did not wish to write non-profitable business. She added that some policyholders have invested with them for 30 or 40 years, “so they obviously want to take their pension from us”. This thinking from an actuary explains why the Government has to legislate, not allow the ABI to prevaricate. Let’s face it, there are about five companies offering competitive annuity rates at present, which means that more than 90 per cent of ABI members are actually making money out of poor annuity rates. The ABI want Omos just about as much as turkeys want Christmas.
David Trenner, Intelligent Pensions
Online comments relating to article: MAS website referred 0.3% of visitors to advisers
As this is funded by IFAs, it is fair to ask what we get in return for our money. With a budget of £87,000,000, a return of 3,000 referrals is pathetic. Each referral costs £29,000.
My objections to the MAS would be lessened if it were a publicly funded agency. However, I am paying for a service that is effectively competing with me and does not enhance my business through referrals into the IFA sector as can be plainly seen by the figures released. It really is becoming tiresome constantly dolling out money to fund quango after quango while enjoying little or no benefit.
I would suspenct the vast number of people who visited MAS had significant debts, no savings and less than £20,000 in a pension. They hold no value to an IFA and require some simple financial advice on reducing outgoings paying off debts and putting a little aside for emergencies.
Online comments relating to article: House prices grow three times faster than wages
Lies, damned lies and statistics. What this “research” from the HBF reveals is not that houses have become more or less affordable but that the Federation has a poor grasp of an appropriate way to research the relative value of a volatile asset. Here’s a clue – start by looking at more than one period. According to Nationwide, house price index the average house price was £110,890 in August 2002 – a 94 per cent increase would take this to a tad over £215,000. The actual average house price stands at £164,389 – which I reckon is an increase of around 48 per cent. Looks like a case of a typical builders estimate.More interesting is perhaps to look at house prices over the last six years. Oh – it appears they have fallen from £167,721.
Online comments relating to article: Tory peer attacks FSA over RDR access to advice
All well and good, but RDR is not a new topic and one has to question the motives of a last minute rant. Is there any real prospect of a change to the RDR plans? which will clearly lead to reduced access to advice for most people.
Yet another good article with sound common sense that will of course end up in the FSA’s ‘laugh and tear up’ tray.
At last – somebody actually understanding what the effect of RDR is going to be.- hundreds of thousands of small savers (whether investment or pension savings) being cast adrift because the small IFA cannot afford to service them and the larger firms will not be interested. When will the FSA ever listen to people in the know – another fine mess that will unravel in a few years time!
Like I’ve said all along, why restrict payment options for a Client, when there is no need to.
The FSA are like the ‘Political Officers’ in Stalist Russia; determined to carry out their perverted ideology at any ‘expense’. They disgust me.
And sadly there’s not a thing Lord Flight’s comments will change.