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Ritchie advice fears over A-Day

Pension expert Stewart Ritchie is calling on the Inland Revenue to publish a detailed guide for advisers to avoid an advice debacle in the run-up to A-Day.

In its response to the Inland Revenue&#39s pension simplification proposals, Scottish Equitable parent Aegon UK says there are serious risks for financial advice in the tight timetable before the planned implementation date of April 2005.

ScotEq pensions development director Ritchie he is concerned that advisers will not have time to get the training and knowledge to give best advice and to gather data to advise on tax-free cash protection and transitional arrangements.

He says: “There is real concern about how preA-Day advice will be viewed retrospectively by the regulators and it could provide a significant threat to the industry&#39s reputation. We need detail as soon as possible and we also propose that the Revenue develop guidance specifically aimed at advisers.”

In its response, Clerical Medial is calling for more time for individuals to choose whether they go for the enhanced protection against the lifetime limit.

Industry affairs manager Stewart Mason says: “The introduction of the concept of enhanced protection means people have to actually stop before A-Day. We would like to see a year&#39s grace given for this as there is simply not enough time for people to get advice on this.”

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