View more on these topics

S&P looks at rating pension funds

Standard & Poor&#39s is looking at giving financial strength ratings on occupational pension schemes which it says could make it easier for IFAs to advise on transfers.

The international rating agency suggested the move at last week&#39s National Association of Pension Funds conference in Edinburgh. It could look at asset allocation and exit penalties, much as with-profits fund ratings already do.

Industry sources say the move could mean the FSA would have to change regulations currently forcing IFAs to assume an occupational scheme will pay out in full. They say it could lead to IFAs looking at the strength of a final-salary pension promise when considering transfers.

At present, companies pay S&P for financial strength ratings but some say that companies may be unwilling to pay for public information about their own pension scheme to be issued, which could mean that users of the ratings would pay.

S&P spokesman Cameron Andrews says: “There is a clear need for objective and rigorous ratings in the pension sector. We already have extensive pension rating expertise as part of our overall rating business. We are looking to see if there is demand for rating pension funds and gauging the views of the marketplace.”

Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: “In principle, this is brilliant for scheme members and their advisers but it would depend on the cost and availability of the information. Occupational schemes are being treated almost like with-profits funds, with Opra limiting transfers with a market value adjuster and S&P looking at offering ratings.”

Recommended

Pension cap could turn away savers

Mounting a defence of people with pension pots likely to exceed £1.4m in the court of public opinion is not an easy task.These well-off and presumably dedicated savers stand to lose from the Pensions Green Paper but there is an escalating row over how many of them there are.The Treasury is wedded to its original […]

Smee&#39s warning on PI for loan and general brokers

The FSA&#39s extension of mandatory professional indemnity insurance to up to 35,000 general insurance and mortgage intermediaries could stifle an already constricted PI market, Aifa has warned.Director general Paul Smee says he has serious concerns about the proposal outlined in CP174, published last week, to force advisers to have compulsory PI insurance once they become […]

Abbey bond provides refuge for investors

Abbey National has unveiled a guaranteed equity bond that is linked to the FTSE 100 index for five years and six months. Issue 11 of Abbey National&#39s safety plus growth bond offers investors the return of their original capital plus growth of 17.5 per cent regardless of the performance of the index. It also has […]

Bates urges switch to Global focus from tech

Bates Investment Services is urging investors in higher-risk sectors to switch from technology funds to global focus funds to escape the volatility it believes plagues the TMT sector.In a move which could sound the death knell for some smaller funds, the firm is recommending clients to ditch funds in the tech, media and telecoms sector […]

Neptune launches Japan Institutional Fund

By Chris Taylor, Investment Director, Head of Research Neptune is excited to announce the launch of the Japan Institutional Fund on 22 June, having disclosed to the market in March its intention to offer the product. The Fund will be managed by the highly-regarded Chris Taylor, Head of Research and manager of the long-running Japan Opportunities Fund. It will invest in the same underlying stocks as the Japan […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com