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Standard Life gives GPP a facelift

Standard Life has given its group personal pension (GPP) a facelift to make it more flexible for policyholders.

Group personal pension flex has replaced Standard Life’s previous GPP for new business. Existing customers can carry on with their previous contract or they can transfer to the new product.

Unlike its predecessor, group personal pension flex allows policyholders to make contributions whenever they want instead on a rigid monthly or annual basis. It provides access to 31 fund links, include12 external funds from fund managers such as Baillie Gifford, Fidelity and Newton. If only internal funds are chosen, the basic 1 per cent charge will apply. This will be increased if external fund links are chosen, but none will incur a charge beyond 0.5 per cent. Where IFAs are required to give extra advice on the selection of external funds, up to 0.3 per cent will be added.

Although many pensions claim to be flexible, this flexibility tends to refer to varying the amount paid and the ability to start or stop paying the contributions at any time.

Royal & SunAlliance’s group personal pension provides access to 15 internal funds within a 1 per cent annual management charge. There are also 12 external funds from five fund managers including Aberdeen, Framlington and Newton, but there are four fewer internal funds available compared with the Standard Life plan.

The Royal & SunAlliance product allows contributions to be made monthly or on a single premium basis only. Its flexibility is limited to varying the amounts that are paid and the ability to suspend contributions during payment holidays, which is not as flexible as the new Standard Life plan.

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