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Pickering is focusing on contracting-out change

The system of contracting out of the state second pension is to undergo a fundamental overhaul under the Pickering review, which is due to report in June.

Speaking at the NAPF Conference in Brighton last week, the head of the Department for Work and Pensions simplification review Alan Pickering said he would be looking at “contracting out in particular – simplifying it retrospectively and the extent to which it should remain a feature of our landscape”.

Experts believe this may mean scrapping the system of separating contracted-out funds from the rest of a pension pot, which would streamline buying an annuity and the whole admin process.

Pickering said his changes would make it easier for people to accumulate pension funds and would relax restrictions on the benefits they can receive.

As reported in Money Marketing last week, Pickering has finished his report and is planning radical changes to the entire private pension system.

He confirmed the number of pension schemes will fall and differences between many pension types will be scrapped.

Pickering said: “I want to it to be as easy as possible to accumulate as much pension as possible and for there to be less prescription on the output. This is a sensitive balancing act. There are far too many types of pensions and regulation between different types of schemes.”

•NAPF report, p8


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THREADNEEDLE INVESTMENTSTHREADNEEDLE PROPERTY UNIT TRUSTType: Unit trust Aim: Growth by investing in UK commercial property Minimum investment: Lump sum £25,000 Place of registration: Jersey Investment split: 100% in UK commercial property Isa link: No Charges: Initial up to 7.5%, annual 1.25% Commission: Renewal 0.5% Tel: 0800 0684000Suitability to market 6.7Investment strategy 7.7Past performance 7.7Company&#39s reputation […]

The data dilemma

Two weeks ago, Focus Solutions published some interesting research on the services being offered by life office websites. But the names of the life offices were not revealed.The reason for carrying out the research was, no doubt, to help draw attention to its web-based version of Goal: Proposal to submit business electronically to life offices.This […]

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Two longstanding directors are leaving Bankhall following Skandia&#39s acquisition of the IFA services provider. IFAengine managing director David Warnock is leaving Bankhall Group to pursue his career in another area of information technology, while Bankhall group compliance director Martyn Weaver also leaves.Skandia managing director Nick Poyntz-Wright says: “Both were founder members of the Bankhall business […]


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