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Only 27,000 Irish stakeholder sales in first year

Only 27,000 of Ireland&#39s stakeholder-style pensions have been sold in the product&#39s first year even though it allows a 5 per cent bid/offer spread plus a 1 per cent annual charge.

Irish consumers are spurning the state-sponsored Personal Retirement Savings Account even though its charging structure is what many life offices see as the solution to tumbling pension sales in the UK. Premiums placed into Irish PRSAs in the year to March 2004 total just £41m.

Next week, the Treasury is expected to announce whether the stakeholder 1 per cent charge will be raised. Many industry figures are predicting an increase in commission to 5 per cent on contributions plus a 1 per cent annual charge.

All Irish employers which do not offer an occupational scheme have to give access to a PRSA, although no contribution is required.

The Irish Pensions Board estimates that another 300,000 workers need to take out a PRSA if pension coverage across the workforce is to increase from 53 per cent to 70 per cent.

Irish Life pensions marketing manager Tony Lawless says: “At the last count, three providers using direct salesforces had 78 per cent market share. This is not being sold by brokers in Ireland even though they have two-thirds of the market across financial services distribution generally.”

Standard Life senior technical manager John Lawson says: “I am quite surprised to see these figures from Ireland. But what we need in the UK is a two-pronged attack, with an increase to Irish levels of commission to pay for advice as well as tax incentives for employers to offer contributions to staff through workplace schemes.”


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Prudential is believed to be placing a lifestyle questionnaire at the heart of its re-entry into the protection market after nearly a year&#39s absence. Despite historically being a major protection player, its move last April to hike rates and remove guarantees on new and pipeline critical illness has left the Pru writing virtually no protection […]

Mortgage network is working for us

I would just like to add a few thoughts to the ongoing debate over whether mortgage intermediaries should become a network appointed representative or be directly regulated by the FSA. The chief arguments against network membership are that you will face a restricted choice of products, be forced into an inflexible compliance regime, and that […]

Ingledew back to develop Barclays advice schemes

Former Berkeley Berry Birch chief executive Steve Ingledew has resurfaced at Barclays Financial Planning following his departure from the listed IFA earlier this year. Ingledew will be commercial director of the financial planning division responsible for developing its advisory proposition on the independent and tied sides. He will report to Jim Reeves who, as Money […]


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