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Sipp fears for ScotLife

Scottish Life says it has serious reservations about entering the group Sipp market due to concerns about breaching treating customers fairly rules.

The firm, which will launch its individual Sipp this year, says it is still investiga-ting whether to follow this up with a group offering.

Head of corporate business Mark Polson says the FSA’s TCF rules are proving to be the main sticking point.

He says group Sipps are typically more expensive than traditional group personal pensions. He argues that in most companies’ pension schemes, 90 per cent of employees go into the default fund and if the company chooses a group Sipp, these employees could end up paying a higher base cost for no tangible benefit.

He says there are also problems if an employee with a group Sipp moves to another employer which does not offer a group Sipp and refuses to pay into it.

Polson says: “I am very nervous about putting group Sipps into an unsophisticated workforce. Group Sipps generally have a more expensive base rate than normal GPPS but most people in employers’ pension schemes end up in the default fund. If they are paying for flexibility they don’t use, is this treating customers fairly?”

AJ Bell managing director Andy Bell says: “We’ve had reservations about group Sipps for similar reasons. If the majority of employees are going into a default fund, you would struggle to find anyone who would say a group Sipp was suitable. I am very uncomfortable with group Sipps being provided to secretarial and admin staff. I see group Sipps more as a replacement to the EPP market.”


IFAs work against inept providers

So, more sanctimonious twaddle. Providers and distributors should work together to prevent future detriment to customers. If the regulator was in touch with reality, they might realise that most IFAs work against providers – especially life insurers – in the best interests of their clients. Their standard of service and administrative competence makes a North […]

Flight defends under-fire IFAs

Howard Flight has attacked the “middle-class intelligentsia” intent on attacking IFAs on the current pension reform debate. Speaking at the Money Marketing/Cicero Consulting Summit, the former Conservative shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury said he found it unacceptable the way IFAs have been treated when they have been a “crucial part” of the distribution model. […]

Home of Choice offered SJP’s mortgage advisers

St. James’s Place is offloading its mortgage-only appointed representatives and has offered them to Home of Choice.A total of 99 ARs have been told they will have to leave SJP, with HoC choice having first refusal, although they will be free to choose any network they want.SJP chief executive Mark Lund confirms that it is […]

Sticking to valuation discipline when investing in China

Journalist Alexis Xydias discusses the opportunities – and potential pitfalls – of investing in China with Artemis fund manager Peter Saacke. With Peter holding significant positions in China in the Artemis funds he manages, journalist Alexis Xydias quizzes Peter on the risks of investing in Chinese stocks – including over-valuations, margin trading and financial reporting issues. Click here for video


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