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Standard Life and M&S pension schemes get Napf quality mark

Standard Life and Marks & Spencer are among the first of seven companies to be awarded the new pension quality mark, which was launched last week by the National Association of Pension Funds.

The awards, presented by pensions minister Angela Eagle and the Ageing Society, certify that both companies’ defined-contribution schemes have fulfilled the key qualifying criteria on contribution rates, governance and communications.

Other companies in the first wave to be awarded the quality mark are Accenture, BG Group, IBM, Kellogg’s and The Royal College of Physicians.

The NAPF believes that the quality mark will help employers demonstrate the value of their DC scheme and encourage more employees to join.

NAPF research shows that 67 per cent of people looking for a new job would look more favourably on a potential employer that has been awarded a pension quality mark.

Chief executive Joanne Segars says: “This is an exciting new initiative that will benefit both employers and employees. It shows these firms’ commitment to encouraging staff to save for retirement, which is becoming ever more vital. I urge more employers to apply so they can tell the story of their good quality schemes with confidence.”


Structured sceptics

Structured products have a place in today’s market but advisers are not generally recommending them to clients, according to panellists at the Money Marketing RDR and Economic Update last week.

Now the CTF is seven

The child trust fund generated a fair amount of interest when it was launched and, at least for a little while, generated some interest among financial advisers – especially in connection with the additional investments that could be made into the CTF account.

Matters of state

One of the fundamental issues that an adviser needs to consider with clients approaching retirement is their entitlement to state pension benefits, making sure they will receive all they are entitled to and also considering whether there are benefits in buying added years to increase the basic state pension of those who have a broken record of National Insurance contributions.


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