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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


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


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


ses a lot of industry con-

cerns that the industry has already voiced.”


Companies face £2.5bn in stakeholder fines says Virgin Direct

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership is relocating its find management function to new head quarters.Swip says the move puts the finishing touches to its year long programme of enhancing and rebuilding its fund management business which include creating an environment to encourage and stimulate its partnership with Scottish Widows Group.

Exclusive Connections tracks on

Exclusive Connections has introduced a base-rate tracker mortgage that remains at 0.50 per cent for the first three years.The mortgage is available for loans of up to 95 per cent of valuation and has a current payable rate of 5.50 per cent. After the first three years, the tracker rate increases to 1 per cent […]

£50K fine for firm for review failings

The PIA has slapped a £50,000 fine on IFA City Assurance Consultantsof Wimbledon Hill Road, London for pension review failings. The firm, whichhas also been officially reprimanded and ordered to pay PIA costs of£4,000, is guilty of a number of failings identified in regulatoryvisits between January and August 2000.

Which sway for Sandler?

The potential impact of the Sandler consultation paper could turn thefinancial services industry on its head. What are the origins of Sandler&#39stake on the market&#39s possible shortcomings? Obvious candidates include Gartmore chief executive and the trailblazerfor Sandler, Paul Myners, assisted by Treasury officials. But otherinfluential figures include life office analyst Ned Cazalet and possiblyformer Autif […]

Guide cover

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:

  • What to consider when segmenting your workforce
  • How to communicate to pension scheme members at the right time in their member lifecycle
  • What topics you should be discussing with your pension members
  • The new pension freedoms and the importance of communicating them


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