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PIA adds inflation to final decision trees

The PIA and Imro this week published the final stakeholder decision trees, leaving consu mers to wade through up to 11 pages of text before making a decision.

It is believed the pastel-coloured trees have been rev ised to include the impact of inflation on contributions after the PIA failed to include this in the original draft. This effectively reduces projected pension incomes.

There are three main dec-ision trees for the employed, self-employed and unemployed and each are sub-divided into up to four further trees. They will be available via Citizens Advice Bureaux and local libraries as well as traditional avenues.

The regulations also outline the regime for the conduct of stakeholder business as well as training and competence of staff but they rule out the use of the much mal igned reason why not letters which required IFAs to justify sales of personal pensions instead of stakeholder. This is now included in the standard letter.

The framework stipulates consumers helped through decision trees by call centre staff must have a decision tree in front of them.

Scheme provider staff giving presentations to emp loy ees must also be fully qualified to give investment adv ice, which rules out unqua lified trade union representatives.

Contracting out is exc lu ded from the trees but the preceding notes state: “Contracting out is an important decision. If you want help, you should consult a financial adviser.”

Clerical Medical pensions strategy manager Nigel Stam mers says: “IFAs must write in the standard reasons why letter that personal pensions are at least as suitable as stakeholder, which is much more neutral than assuming they are almost always better. This is good news because the FSA is acting less like an IFA.”

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