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Stakeholder slumps as focus shifts

The number of people taking out stakeholder pensions fell by 22 per cent to 58,000 in the first quarter of the year from 74,000 in the first quarter of 2003, according to ABI figures.

Stakeholder premiums fell by 8 per cent from £131m to £120m but total new individual regular-premium pension sales rose by 3 per cent from £837m to £862m.

The poor sales figures follow major pension providers moving commission focus away from low-premium stakeholder pension business to other product areas.

Spokeswoman Emma Quantrill says: “We have always said we do not want a product with a price cap because it will not work but, while stakeholder sales are down, employer-sponsored pension sales are up. The workplace is the natural place for pensions to be sold.”

Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: “If providers are not paying commission to advisers to promote the product, then advisers will stop promoting the product.”

The ABI says total private medical insurance plans held steady last year at 3.7 million. The number of corporate health policies rose from 2.5 million in 2002 to 2.6 million.

Head of health Richard Walsh says the Government should reinforce the contribution of employers by cutting the tax burden on corporate PMI.


New non-exec for regulator&#39s board

The FSA has appointed Hugh Stevenson, chairman of Equitas and of Merchants Trust, as a non-executive director to its board. He will be on the board from June 1 for a three-year term. Stevenson was previously chairman of Mercury Asset Management Group, and prior to that was SG Warburgs managing director.

Forget the cost and focus on value

I read the front-page article, Outcry as FSA tells IFA its fees are too high (MM, May 13) with some disbelief. Obviously, I am not aware of the full facts, and I hope there are some extenuating circumstances or perhaps some important information that was not disclosed to your paper. If not, this stance by […]

Vanni&#39s rum do

Equitable chairman Vanni Treves earned his corn at the stricken society&#39s AGM last week, opening a gift from a policyholder at the University of the West Indies – a bottle of Jamaican rum. Treves spent a rum morning fielding questions from disgruntled retired colonels, no doubt wondering whether the ordeal was worth £125,000 a year. […]

Tiner attacks EU over Mifid speed

FSA chief executive John Tiner has hit out at the European Commission for bringing in the Market in Financial Instruments directive too quickly, describing the move as “insensitive” to firms&#39 needs. As revealed in Money Marketing two weeks ago, Mifid – also known as ISD2 – could mean that the vast majority of IFAs have […]


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