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Standard says Brown has three Asp options

Standard Life says Chancellor Gordon Brown has three options for clamping down on Asps in his Pre-Budget report.

It is illegal for the Government to restrict Asps to a specific religious group as it would breach religious discrimination rules and Standard says this leaves the Government with three options.

The first option would be to impose additional tax charges on Asps and the Government could tax Asps out of existence by creating a big enough deterrent to ensure that no one would use them.

The second option is to make adjustments to Asps, such as forcing members to take a minimum income which would increase the Government’s tax revenue in the early years.

The final option is to scrap Asps completely but Standard does not believe the Government will go down this route because such a U-turn would be embarrassing.

Standard Life marketing technical manager Andrew Tully says: “If the Government makes another major policy about turn, it risks further damaging the already low confidence which people have about pensions. Asp is and always will be a niche product and it gives the Government a bigger tax revenue than an annuity does.

“If the Government wants to have more control over when it receives tax, then there are various ways they can tweak Asps without taxing it out of existence as they did with residential property almost exactly one year ago.”


Capita picks up Scottish Life contract

Capita has been appointed to provide investment administration services to Scottish Life’s pension portfolio plan promising advisers a 60 per cent reduction in costs. The Capita Life and Pensions service will use its Enabler infrastructure offering straight through processing links across multiple asset classes.The service will be launched on December 4 and the contract has […]

Sheffield Mutual offers income bond

Sheffield Mutual is launching a with-profits income bond alongside its investment bond. Clients will be able to withdraw between 2 and 5 per cent annually. Minimum investment is £10,000 and maximum is £50,000.

Pearl criticised over delays

Pearl Assurance has been accused of communication failures that could have led an adviser to give his client the wrong advice.CBK principal Peter Chadborn says despite repeated requests, Pearl initially provided only basic information on a client’s endowment policy and did not produce maturity projections until two months later.He says he would have originally advised […]

This week in Mortgages

As Christmas approaches, so the great spending spree is upon us. Lights are now adorning every high street across the country and all those annoying festive songs will start to ring in every pub, club and town centre the land-over.

Looking back at 2015

By Fiona Tait, Pensions Specialist 2015 was quite a year for pensions. Change, more change, and proposed changes to the changes. The Spring Budget – pre-election plans With everything that has happened since, it is hard to remember what happened in March. Following on from the bombshell of the 2014 Budget, the Chancellor confined himself […]


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