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Seven providers abandon up-front charges

The days of high upfront charges on personal pensions appear to be numbered with seven pension providers abandoning the products.


Barclays Life announced last week that it would be withdrawing its front loaded regular premium plans from the market, although it plans to replace these with new products in May.


The move was swiftly followed by Abbey Life, Abbey National, Allied Dunbar, Friends Provident and Legal & General.


The move follows the release of PIA regulatory guidance for advice on personal pensions in the run up to stakeholder pensions.


The PIA requires pension advice to facilitate transfers to stakeholder without any penalties on its introduction.


The guidelines effectively rule out the sale of high upfront charging contracts in favour of plans with high early surrender values.

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