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Stakeholder is an opt-out for firms

Stakeholder is letting employers off the hook by allowing them to opt out of contributing to an occupational schemes, say two leading champions of pensioner rights.

National Pensioners Convention president Rodney Bickerstaffe and former Labour Cabinet minister Barbara Castle have both criticised the Government&#39s flagship pension for not meeting the needs of its target market.

Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Labour conference in Brighton last week, Bickerstaffe, former head of the UK&#39s biggest union, Unison, called for the Government to introduce compulsion on employers to contribute to employees&#39 schemes. He predicted it could become an issue by the time of the next election, with Labour possibly promising to introduce compulsion if given a third term.

But Bickerstaffe ruled out compulsion on savers, saying it would not accomplish anything as most of those not saving now cannot afford to do so.

Castle, who set up Serps, and Bickerstaffe are best known for their efforts to restore the earnings link for the basic state pension.

The NPC-sponsored meeting saw the biggest attendance of the whole conference fringe prog-ramme. Pensions minister Ian McCartney was shouted down as he tried to explain the Government&#39s thinking on the future of pensions. He finished his speech despite not being heard at times over the angry pensioners.

Bickerstaffe told Money Marketing: “It looks as though stakeholder has been used by a number of employers as a way of dumping their occupational schemes. They are saying to new employees that in the future we will administer for you a stakeholder that you are happy to put money in but we do not have to put any in. Employers have a responsibility to society through contributing to their employees&#39 pension schemes.”


Massow in deal to buy back his business

The millionaire IFA Ivan Massow has managed to buy back his business on the same day that it went into receivership in a deal last week.The IFA&#39s financial troubles come a year after Massow Fin-ancial Services merged with rival Louis Letourneau&#39s Rainbow Finance to form the Massow Rainbow Group. Letour-neau became CEO of the firm.The […]

Product matters

Corporate bonds have become morepopular in today&#39s volatile investment climate. With global markets yo-yoing on a daily basis and in the midst of a period of low inflation and interest rates, equities certainly look riskier in the short term.The Threadneedle strategic bond fund, due for launch on November 5, will investinitially in high-yieldand investment-grade corporate […]

What trade bodies think of Sandler

AITCClients at the heart of the systemThe AITC is urging the Government to retain polarisation and rec-ognise the place of investment trusts in developing financial services policy, in its response to the review.It says the review has wide public policy implications in terms of enhancing compet-ition and increasing the value of investment.The AITC lists its […]

Outside Edge

As the Equitable roadshow lumbers around the UK, we are informed that the Faculty/Institute of Actuaries report reflects that had this company dealt with IFAs, matters could have been different.This reminded me of one when I had to hand in an application for a single premium to a retirement annuity at the Glasgow office of […]

Investment clock economic update

In the latest Investment Clock economic update, Ian Kernohan, Senior Economist at Royal London Asset Management, discusses the implications of the US Federal Reserve’s recent hike in interest rates and upcoming French presidential election. The value of investments and the income from them is not guaranteed and may go down as well as up and […]


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