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Thinktank warning of pension advice vacuum

The Government has come under fire from a left-wing

thinktank in a damning rep-

ort which criticises stakeholder for creating an advice vacuum.

The Institute of Public Policy Research, which has influenced much of

Labour policy over the last four years,has issued an interim report on

its ongoing project, A New

Contract for Retirement, in which it says the Government&#39s policies in the

pension sec-

tor have raised more ques-

tions than they have answered.

The report asks whether stakeholder is meeting its target audience instead

of serving as a tax break for the rich.

It warns that there is an “advice vacuum” which is leaving those most in

need of advice unlikely to receive it because of the 1 per cent cap on

charges.

It also says the viability of the FSA&#39s decision trees is “questionable”.

The IPPR highlights disquiet about the decision to fund only nursing care

and not personal care for long-term care and says if Scotland goes through

with its intention to fund both types of care, the result could be people

from England moving north of the border to take advantage of more generous

state provision.

It also claims that doubt has been cast on whether the Government&#39s

Catmarked policy for LTC will result in growth

of the industry.

The report says the Gov-ernment should be encouraged to co-operate with

the insurance industry to design life products with an LTC option attached

or which protect people from having to repay the costs of care on the death

of a relative.

Equity-release products, which the IPPR says are another possible solution

to the cost of care, are hampered by “an unfavourable regulatory and policy

environment”.

Clerical Medical pensions strategy manger Nigel Stammers says: “The report

rai-

ses a lot of industry con-

cerns that the industry has already voiced.”

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Guide: how to… communicate with your pension members

Effective communication of your pension scheme is a large part of getting auto-enrolment right. Delivering the same message to all employees is not necessarily the way to go. To assist you with the communication of your pension scheme, we have provided some key areas to think about, such as:

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