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ScotEq offers clustered section 32 plan

Scottish Equitable has added a clustered section 32 plan to its pension range ahead of A-Day.

Clustered section 32s are being touted as a good way of maximising tax-free cash ahead of April 2006 as each cluster is effectively treated as an individual pension scheme in its own right.

ScotEq’s version will have 10 clusters, with demands for more clusters being dealt with on a case by case basis.

Minimum investment is 250,000 and 50,000 per cluster thereafter. ScotEq says 10 clusters should be enough to satisfy most investors’ retirement planning needs.

This also minimises a potential admin headache after A-Day. From next April, each individual cluster has its own registration and annual reporting requirements with the Inland Revenue and the Revenue must be notified when a cluster is vested. Abbey has been lobbying the Government to reduce this burden as its section 32 has 1,000 clusters which will be massively onerous to administer.

ScotEq pensions spokeswoman Margaret Robertson says: “Section 32s will be a big market in the run-up to A-Day, we think, and we are enhancing our offering to meet inv-estor needs.”

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