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Pension firms daunted by the ‘toughest-ever’ task of A-Day

Half of pension providers are worried that they are ill-prepared for A-Day and say preparing for pension simplification is harder than Y2K.

Research from technology firm Xansa shows that providers are concerned that gaps in competence will leave them exposed leading up to A-Day, with 50 per cent admitting to still being on the starting blocks on preparations for next April.

Preparations for the pension simplification deadline are described by industry professionals as “the bigg- est and most complex tasks we have ever undertaken – with more work involved than Y2K”.

The survey of 27 big and small pension providers, making up 40 per cent of the industry in terms of funds under management, found that one of the major problems is that the Inland Revenue has not yet issued all the regulation govern- ing the new regime, making certainty over advice planning impossible.

Xansa, which is a member of the Investment and Life Assurance Group, is calling for a meeting with Inland Revenue chairman David Varney and the new pensions minister after the general election, seeking immediate publication of the new regulations. Ilag is committed to helping to set up such a meeting.

Xansa sector director of financial services James Doyle says: “Many life insurance companies are under a great deal of pressure to meet the A-Day deadline and they are worried that the regulations which are still to be issued by the Inland Revenue could have a major impact on their plans.”

“It is critical for the industry to get clarification of the remaining regulations so they can assess the work they need to undertake – that is what we will be asking of the new pensions minister.”

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