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Simpler pension regime set to &#39liberate&#39 advisers

The Green Paper&#39s simplification of the pension regime will liberate IFAs to return to being pension salesmen, according to Standard Life.

The timeframe for selling a pension will be reduced from between seven and eight hours to between three and four hours, which will allow IFAs to advise clients with monthly contributions as low as £75, says senior technical manager John Lawson.

Norwich Union has welcomed the Green Paper&#39s promise to consult on the 1 per cent price cap in the new year at the same time as the Government consults on Sandler as a chink of light.

The Government will also consult on the regulation of home reversion plans, which have so far remained outside regulation, and equity-release mortgage products so as to create a level playing field.

The proposals also include plans for a new pension regulator to proactively protect the interests of occupational scheme members and the Government will consult on whether Opra will remain or be replaced.

The unloved minimum funding requirement introduced in the wake of the Maxwell scandal is to be replaced by a more flexible proposal for scheme-specific regulation.

Deferring the state pension will be made easier and the Government proposes to allow people to choose between an increased state pension or – for the first time – to allow them to take a single, taxable lump sum.

Contracted-out benefits will also be simplified.

Immediate vesting will be encouraged so that all employees are entitled to benefits on joining a firm. The Government also says members should be allowed to transfer pension pots into a stakeholder. But providers say they would not welcome this as it could lead to a rash of very small amounts to manage.

Lawson says: “From a private pension point of view, this covers nearly all our concerns. Administration and communication with customers will be easier.”


Adair Turner to lead independent commission on compulsion

The Government is establishing an independent pensions commission to look at issues surrounding compulsion chaired by former CBI director general Adair Turner. The move has been attacked by opposition MPs and IFAs who claim it is trying to bury the issue. The extent of the commission&#39s remit will be to make recommendations to ministers although […]

Not just for Christmas

He is the ultimate keyperson. Entrepreneurial skills and unique qualities finely tuned. Christmas would be a very different festival without him and the impact on the bottom line for the UK retail trade would be dramatic. Father Christmas is recognised as the leader in his field.But he is not the only key-person in the business […]

Sandler-style pensions to increase pension provision among low and middle earners

The Government is pinning its hopes on Sandler-style pensions distributed through high-street banks and State-sponsored telephone and internet advice services to increase pension provision among low and middle earners. But IFAs and providers have slammed the proposals saying pensions will not be sold as long as there is a rigid commission cap on Sandler&#39s suite […]

Manor Park – UK Selected Growth Fund

Wednesday, 18 December 2002 Type: Guaranteed growth bond Aim: Growth linked to the FTSE 100 index Minimum investment: Lump sum £5,000 Place of registration: Guernsey Investment split: 100% linked to the FTSE 100 Guarantee: Client&#39s choice of between 85 – 100% of capital returned in full at end of three-year term regardless of movement in […]


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