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Standard Life slams ABI’s ban plan

Standard Life has launched a scathing attack on ABI proposals to protect existing pensions through contribution caps and limits on transfers for personal accounts.

In its response to the Pensions White Paper last week, the Association of British Insurers agreed with the Pension Commission’s proposals for an annual contribution cap of £3,000 a year and an initial ban on transferring in or out of personal accounts.

But Standard Life head of pensions policy John Lawson says: “Measures such as contribution caps and preventing transfers are so customer-unfriendly it beggars belief. The idea that putting up barriers somehow protects good existing provision is daft.

“Employers will close their schemes or level down because they cannot afford so many NPSS contributions. Petty rules about what pension you can or can’t save in will not make a blind bit of difference.”

Standard argues that people aged over 40 in 2012 and earning under £25,000 should not be auto-enrolled into a personal account as its research indicated they would be better off saving in an Isa.

Like the ABI, Standard believes that an annual management charge alone would prove unworkably expensive during the early stages of the scheme. It proposes levying 5 per cent on each contribution, which Lawson says would be cheaper than a 0.7 per cent annual charge.

An ABI spokesman said: “If others have suggestions for better ways to maintain the existing pension market, it will be useful to have these as contributions to the debate.”


DCA picks Staffordshire County Council team to supervise CMC regulation

The Department for Constitutional Affairs has chosen Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards to supervise the regulation of claims management services nationwide.SCCTS will run the monitoring and compliance unit for the regulation of claims handlers for the DCA as a separate project from its more traditional role with a ring-fenced budget of less than £1m.Speaking this […]

Flat prospects

A cautionary tale about people’s desperation to get on the property ladder

HSBC looks for rise in contributions

HBSC backs personal accounts, auto-enrolment and mandatory employer contributions but it says a minimum contribution of 8 per cent of band earnings is insufficient and argues that minimum contributions should be increased over time. It says socially respon- sible funds should also be available.

CML gives advice on arrears for unregulated loans

The Council of Mortgage Lenders is warning members to protect consumers by treating unregulated mortgages as if they are regulated when borrowers fall into arrears. Its guidance, which Money Marketing has been shown, says members must inform customers on which basis their arrears are being treated. If a non-regulated mortgage is being treated as a […]

Iain Chadwick

The Budget 2015: a brief overview

Following George Osborne’s delivery of his sixth Budget as chancellor and the last of this current parliament, we have provided a brief overview of the initiatives put forward in his statement, focusing on the topics that have an impact upon the pensions landscape, savings, personal taxation and businesses.


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