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The roots of the pension scandal

The amazing saga of the pension scandal was the most outrageously imposed retrospective legislation one has ever seen.

But regulators conveniently overlooked Mrs Thatcher&#39s Government&#39s advertising campaign of an imitation Hulk breaking out of chains strapped around him, advising the public to break out of the restrictive chains of an occupational pension scheme and organise their own personal pension plan (or words to that effect).

It was also overlooked that practically every life office that dealt in personal pensions followed the Government line by issuing their own leaflets along the same lines and encouraging their agents to advise their clients to break away from the restrictions of an occupational pension scheme.

Mrs Thatcher&#39s advisers were not as subtle as the spin doctors advising our present Government. If one takes the time to step back and look at the current pension scene, regulators have introduced many daunting new regulations and rehashed the mandatory methods of accountancy.

This now makes it more or less impossible for any employer to continue offering a defined-benefit occupational pension scheme to their employees. Even to the extent that a number of our own industry leaders have not made “defined benefits” available to new employees but have moved to defined contributions.

This was cleverly followed up by the present Government with the introduction of stakeholder pensions.

A majority of employers who thought the matter through and had some concern for their employees took the group personal pension plan route or the contracted-in money-purchase route.

The nation was eventually successfully led down the pre-defined path set by Mrs Thatcher many years ago. And do not forget Gordon Brown&#39s help in stopping dividend relief.

B M Pickering

Heather, Moor & Edgecomb, Chippenham, Wiltshire


Norwich and Peterborough – Two Year Fixed Rate Bond

Wednesday, May 8, 2002Type: High interest accountMinimum-maximum investment: £1,000-£500,000Interest rates: 5% gross a year, 4.89% gross a monthTerm: Two yearsOffer period: Until further noticeWithdrawal penalties: No penalty provided £1,000 remains in thebond. Otherwise 120 days’ loss of interest on amountwithdrawnTel: 0845 3002511

Coventry Building Society – Fixed Rate Bond

Friday, May 10, 2002 Type: High interest account Minimum-maximum investment: £1,000-£250,000 Interest rate: 5% gross a year Term: Until October 31, 2003 Offer period: Until further notice Withdrawal penalties: 90 days&#39 loss of interest on amount withdrawn Tel 0845 7665522

SLHC makes appointments to regional teams

Standard Life Healthcare has announced a number of appointments to its regional development team responsible for business relations with IFAs.Ian Cuthbertson and Phil Knight join as regional development managers for Birmingham and Leeds while Martin Chubb, Paul Young and Simon Young join as account managers.Chubb will operate in Reading and Southampton, Paul Young in Nottingham, […]

Barclays – Guaranteed Equity Savings Bond

Thursday, May 9, 2002 Type: Guaranteed equity bond and high interest account GUARANTEED EQUITY BOND Aim: Growth linked to the performance of the FTSE 100 index Minimum-maximum investment: £5,000-£1m Term: Three years Guarantee: Capital returned in full at end of term regardless of the performance of the index Return: 50% of any growth in index […]

The Day of (B)reckoning

A period of exceptional uncertainty started last Friday for the UK, including a fierce leadership battle in a deeply divided Conservative party, the timing of the trigger of the EU’s Article 50, as well as a potential referendum in Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Click here to read the full article


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