View more on these topics

Pressure mounts on Friends over windfall strategy

Friends Provident is under pressure to amend its windfall payout strategy for some rebate-only pension policyholders following confirmation from the Inland Revenue that contributions cannot be brought forward arbitrarily.

The news follows campaigning by Aon McMillen Consulting senior consultant Richard Oates.

The life office is also under fire from some IFAs over the conduct of the conversion vote. Peter Rutherford & Co Financial Planning Services technical manager Mike Gordon says the combined question of conversion and membership rights should be put to members separately.

On the rebate issue, Friends said because it had not had any contributions into Oates&#39 pension before March 31 – a week before the end of tax year – it ruled that while such new rebate-only policyholders could be classed as members of the scheme, they could not be members of the life office. This rules some policyholders out of valid claims for windfalls.

Friends acknowledges that individuals have no control over when contributions are made but it has so far been uncompromising on its position for new rebate-only policyholders.

But the Revenue wrote to Oates this week to say the end of tax year is always March 5 and contributions cannot be paid into schemes any earlier.

Friends previously claimed that any complaints by rebate-only pension policyholders should be with the DSS, which had not made payments in time for the March 31 deadline.

Oates says: “The windfall is not the issue. I can&#39t be the only one being denied over a situation beyond my control.”

Friends was unavailable for comment.

l Letter, p23


Apcims calling for retirement Isa and annuity reforms

The next Government should introduce a specific “retirement Isa” and reform annuities, says the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers. Apcims&#39 pre-election briefing suggests a simplification of the Isa rules. It also wants the annual Isa limit to be raised to £10,000 and an additional Isa which would have an investment limit of […]

Royal & Sun Alliance International adds technical service to website

Royal & Sun Alliance International Financial Services is adding a new technical services section on its website aimed at providing information and guidance on the life office’s product range and meeting the tax planning needs of clients. It will include information on trusts and have a guide to UK inheritance tax planning. It also plans […]

ECB cuts Euroland rate

The European Central Bank Governing Council surprised the markets by cutting rates by 0.25 per cent to 4.5 per cent. The announcement came hours after the Bank of England cut its rate by 0.25 per cent to 5.25 per cent. The cut follows a series of poor economic results from Germany.

Bank of England cuts mortgage rate

The Bank of England monetary policy committee has cut interest rates by 0.25 per cent to 5.25 per cent, their lowest level for over 30 years.The cut was widely expected as inflation has remained below the Government&#39s 2.5 per cent target and fears of a downturn in the economy persist.

Oil industry: only the fittest will survive

The actions of OPEC have forced the oil supply to fall and producers to cut costs and rationalise, says Richard Hulf In an interview with journalist Alexis Xydias, Richard Hulf, manager of the Artemis Global Energy Fund, explains the impact of the fall in the oil price on energy companies. Alexis also quizzes Richard on […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and thought leadership.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm