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Smee in call for test runs of FSA&#39s key facts regime

The FSA should test its proposed disclosure document in a series of pilot schemes to ensure that consumers will take to it before forcing the industry to embark on the costly exercise of implementing it, says Aifa director general Paul Smee.

Speaking at Money Mark-eting&#39s Top 100 Summit in Croydon last week, Smee said he did not think the regulator had carried out sufficient research to justify the enormous expense which the introduction of the key facts document would entail.

FSA head of retail projects David Severn hit back at Smee&#39s allegation, saying the regulator had employed the same qualitative focus group lead research methods for the disclosure regime used by Aifa when it designed its menu system

As revealed in Money Marketing three weeks ago, the FSA is proposing a new disclosure regime to replace the key features document.

A draft of the consultation paper seen by MM said implementing the new regime could cost the life industry as much as £130m and fund companies up to £10m.

Smee said: “I am having words with David Severn about the lack of research carried out into the disclosure documents. I think there should be a pilot study done before they become embedded in rules and companies have to invest in them.”

Severn says: “Those who do not know how research works believe that if you do more and more, it will change the results.

“In fact, it tends to substantiate early findings. We have conducted the same qualitative type of research for the new disclosure regime as Aifa did for the menu.”


Door is opened to annuities, then slammed shut

The door has been opened by the Treasury to extending the Sandler suite of simple products by up to six products, although it has at the same time ruled out half of them as being unsuitable.It is forming a panel of providers, consumer groups, trade bodies, regulators and Government officials which will meet to sort […]

The glare goes off polarisation

Could it be a case of as you were for IFAs? The FSA head of retail projects David Severn said as much at the Money Marketing Top 100 summit last week.Analyses by many providers and IFAs suggested that in the next few years the market will, by and large, remain polarised, perhaps between IFAs and […]

Insight aiming to revitalise tired Isas

Insight Investment is offering two Isas aimed at investors who want to revitalise underperforming portfolios or diversify their holdings.The Investment Focus plan offers income and growth options. Insight says the plan is suitable for experienced investors who want to review their investments and transfer underperforming Peps and Isas.The income option gives access to the Insight […]

Smith defends means-testing of pensioners

Replacing means-tested pension benefits with a flat-rate pension payable to all would hit the poorest pensioners by £17 a week, says pensions minister Andrew Smith.Reaffirming the Government&#39s commitment to the pension credit, which comes into effect in April, Smith told delegates at the Taxbriefs conference in London last week that the UK&#39s current state pension […]


Almost nine in 10 employers admit failings with post-DRA compliance

The default retirement age (DRA) was abolished more than three years ago, yet new research from Jelf Employee Benefits suggests that the vast majority of employers still have some way to go to fully understand, comply and communicate the landmark legislation change that prevents older employees being forcibly retired on the grounds of age alone.


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