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Pickering recommends scrapping spouse benefits and index-linking

Pickering’s report into pensions legislation is recommending the removal of spouse benefits and index linking in a bid to stop employers closing defined benefit schemes.

It says the Government should remove the requirement for occupational pensions and the protected rights element of private pensions to rise in line with the retail price index. This would not apply to any benefits already accrued. It says removing the requirement will enable employers to continue offering a defined benefit scheme rather than moving to a money purchase scheme with lower contributions. This would not stop parties coming to individual agreements that would continue index linking.

The report says that in a modern world many couples would prefer to make their own arrangement to have separate retirement income. Survivors’ benefits, it says, should be determined by individuals, employers and providers rather than by rules.


IFAs split over qualifications

Sandler&#39s contention that most advisers are ill-equipped to competently provide investment advice and are often swayed by high commission has divided IFAs.Sandler is recommending that investment qualifications be substantially upgraded after concluding in his report that very few IFAs possess good investment knowledge and often fail to adequately explain risks and charges to their clients.But […]

&#39Cut the jargon of complicated and long key features documents&#39

Key feature documents are in need of dramatic simplification as in their current complicated format they serve no purpose whatsoever claims Sandler.He is advocating KFDs which do not include much of the current jargon and that are significantly reduced in length.The suggestion has been greeted positively by IFAs who agree with Sandler&#39s assertion that KFDs […]

Inter-Alliance buys HST Financial

Inter-Alliance has snapped up rival IFA group HST Financial for an undisclosed sum.Inter-Alliance is also raising £10 million through a new share placing with Norwich Union and Friends Provident investing £5m each.The move will increase Inter-Alliance&#39s number of RIs by approximately 30 per cent to 1,300 from 1,000.The deal for HST will be on a […]

Consumer panel warning over potential misselling of unsuitable products

Ron Sandler&#39s proposals have been slated by the Financial Services Consumer Panel, which warns his recommendations could lead to consumers interests being disregarded.In one of the strongest criticisms of the report the Panel attack Sandler for attempting to create a regime which expects consumers to know more about financial planning than the salesperson advising them.The […]

Benefits of using a probate bare trust

Have you ever wondered what happens to someone’s investment bond on their death if it is not written in trust? When someone dies it is essential to deal with their estate, which can be made up of their home, belongings, investment bonds and anything else they may have owned. But, it is not as simple […]


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