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Treasury issues Asp warning

An insider at the Treasury accuses tax advisers of “wilful abuse” of Asps, which were introduced for religious groups, such as the Plymouth Brethren, with moral objections to annuities.

The source says: “It is unfortunate that a group of tax-avoidance advisers are wil-fully seeking to abuse it in this way. We will take all the action necessary to clamp down on this abuse but if it persists we will unfortun-ately have to remove the concession entirely.”

Standard Life head of pensions policy John Lawson says forced annuitisation would put people off saving and lead to renewed accusations of discrimination from religious groups. He says the Government’s only options are to accept Asps’ widespread use or raise tax on Asps or monies passing on at death via Asps.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says: “The Government has got itself into a complete pickle. The Revenue will take more in tax through an Asp than it will through an annuity.”


Montpelier to run funds

Montpelier is starting an in-house fund management arm and its own branded range of Sipps next month. Montpelier Capital Management will provide discretionary management services to clients, with third-party administration and back-office systems provided by US financial services giant Raymond James. Montpelier managing director Peter Bridges will act as investment manager and tailor multi-asset portfolios […]

Pole star

Collegiate’s Mark Bates is set to take part in the 2007 Polar Challenge to the magnetic North Pole. The race takes place in April 2007, when Mark and the other competitors will ski 320 miles to the pole pulling their own supplies and handling temperatures between -25 and -45 degrees. Mark aims to raise 10,000 […]

FSA screens letters to non-execs

The FSA is intercepting lobbying letters sent to its non-executive directors by trade bodies and other organisations. The move has been attacked by lawyers, with Fishburn Law partner Andrew Davis saying the action is regrettable at a time when the principle of increasing non-executive responsibility is growing in importance. Davis says the FSA should be […]

Promising position

Although there has been a marked increase in market volatility, the big picture of late is that there is not any discernible trend and markets are trading off each rumour and data release.


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