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Pension policy

Respected pension IFAs are concerned about the grim state of company pensions. They want FSA guidance on transfers to personal pensions.

Take the case of someone not far from retirement and well down the scheme peck-ing order, who may face a scheme wind-up. Surely the FSA should devise a robust framework allowing advisers to advise.

This is a sensitive area. Anything that could undermine the logic of the pension review is taboo. But the FSA cannot shirk responsibility for the tens of thousands caught by the to company pensions.The FSA and the Treasury laid the mines on the review – they now have to steer their way through to aid IFAs in helping some of today&#39s most vulnerable savers.

Are exams a waste?

In the good old, bad old days – about eight months ago – the mantra was that advisers should get better qualified. But since CP121 and Sandler, the message is confused.In CP121, there are rewards in the lower tier for the less qualified and in Sandler for those not qualified at all.

Both papers want better investment knowledge for IFAs but what about direct, multi-tied and authorised RIs?

Some might suggest that many IFAs are being pushed into being salesmen, not professionals. So why waste time with more exams?

Mortgages aside, where not doing the exams is a passport out of the industry, Money Marketing no longer knows whether advisers should bother.

We hear tell of heated discussions at the FSA about CPD and exams, so perhaps Canary Wharf does not know either. But someone should hurry up and say what is going on.


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