View more on these topics

Overhaul is an admission of FAS shambles, says Altmann

The Government’s plans to overhaul the structure of the Financial Assistance Scheme are an admission that it is a shambles, says independent pension consultant Dr Ros Altmann.

In draft proposals, the Government has unveiled plans to broaden the FAS’s remit and outsource its running to the private sector.

To date, only 171 pensions schemes have asked for initial payments and just 52 schemes have been assessed. Only 191 members are getting payments from the FAS. Eligibility criteria will be extended to people 15 years from their scheme retirement age as of May 14, 2004. Previously, assistance was only available to people who were within three years of retirement.

The Government also promised an extra £1.9bn funding for the FAS but Altmann says this masks the fact that Chancellor Gordon Brown has yet to set aside any money for it.

Altmann says: “The FAS review is an admission that it is in a complete shambles. You have to remember that Brown has not yet set aside any money and new money will not be made available until around 2007/08. All the money has to go through the DWP at the moment, which is in a complete mess. No wonder money is paid out at such a snail’s pace.”

At the launch of the draft regulations, pensions minister James Purnell said: “I understand people’s frustration that payments have not been made more quickly. The skills required to improve activities exist in the private sector and the Pension Protection Fund.”


Packing it in

Shambles is the word that springs to mind when describing the government’s U-turn on home information packs.

The sudden decision not to make home condition reports mandatory when the packs are introduced next June, even though they were supposed to be the main component, was greeted by astonishment.

Balls urged to axe Asps and end confusion

The Government should scrap alternatively secured pensions to halt the confusion surrounding the product according to pensions IFA Richard Jacobs.Jacobs, managing director of Richard Jacobs Pension & Trustee Services, has written to the Treasury Economic Secretary Ed Balls, recommending the Government abolishes Asps and saying unsecured pensions are sufficient to cover every situation for retirees […]

Proc and a hard place

The idea of lenders paying procuration fees on retained business was aired in public at the mortgage summit in Spain in June. Needless to say, the response from intermediaries was largely one of jubilation and I hardly thought it apt to disturb the euphoria at such an event, where brains were focused on driving business forward.

Advantage joins Government homebuy scheme

Advantage has joined the Governments Open Market Homebuy scheme as its fourth lender.The Morgan Stanley-owned firm has added its name to that of HBOS, Nationwide and Yorkshire Building Society as a partner in the initiative. The Government scheme has come under fire over recent months for failing to attract enough lenders, while those on board […]


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