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Threat to pension providers over Omo delays

The FSA is to review the speed at which pension providers transfer open-market annuity option funds, with action threatened against the slowest for not treating customers fairly.

Legal & General wealth policy director Adrian Boulding says: “It will make the FSA behave like a Rottweiler and crack down on those insurers which are dragging their feet on pension transfers.”

Syndaxi principal Robert Reid says: “If someone’s annuity is not capable of being set up within a 30-day period, they should be fining chief executives.”

The move was announced as part of the pre-Budget report. But the Government is under fire for stifling innovation elsewhere in the annuity market, after saying it will not change tax legislation to foster the development of hybrid annuity products because this would add complexity and benefit only a small number of consumers with big pensions.

Aegon head of pensions development Rachel Vahey says reform could benefit consumers with medium-sized pensions. Winterthur Life pension strategy manager Mike Morrison calls it a missed opportunity.

Standard Life head of pensions policy John Lawson says: “They are effectively not allowing an open market. They are forcing people to buy inflexible annuities and this is a victory for traditional annuity providers, so the likes of Prudential will be dancing in the street.”


The factory factor

Andy Curran, director of intermediated distribution at Prudential believes that a move to factorygate pricing can bring a major boost for adviser businesses

Fears over maximum protection age

Most providers have not increased the maximum age of their income protection policies from 65 years despite the Government extending the state pension age to 68.The state pension age is currently 65 for men and 60-65 for women but from 2010 it will gradually increase so everyone born after April 6, 1978 who are currently […]

Gross lending in August sees little change from July says CML

Total gross lending in August reached £34 bn, little movement from July’s total of £34.1bn, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders.However, the CML says that the make up of lending has changed significantly since a year ago. Both lending for house purchase and remortgage have declined by 11 per cent and 12 per cent respectively […]

Aifa appoints PR and marketing chief

Aifa has appointed Tracy Elwick as its new director of public relations and marketing responsible for enhancing the profile and reputation of the trade body across the industry.

Can UK companies satisfy global appetites?

By Mark Martin, Manager of Neptune UK Mid Cap Fund

Rapid economic and income growth is leading to a dramatic shift in diet towards protein products right around the globe. UK companies such as Genus, the world’s largest livestock breeder, are benefiting from this increasing demand. Mark Martin, manager of the Neptune UK Mid Cap Fund, discusses this investment theme.


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