A reduction in means-testing will be brought about by an eventual linking of the state pension to average earnings. That will have to await various comprehensive spending reviews and budgets. The argument has been conceded but one has to remember that the Chancellor has been losing this argument and then promptly ignoring it for much of his very long term as Chancellor. We wonder if he really has seen the error of his ways.The board of the FSA has rather cravenly backed down on the issue of RU64 following some pretty unseemly ministerial pressure from Pensions Secretary John Hutton. This probably isn’t the end of the world but there is a risk that the Government wants the regulator to jump on the current pensions system with hobnailed boots – a reworked and stricter RU64 – although how IFAs can compare existing pensions with something that does not exist remains to be seen. Sadly, but inevitably, there is nothing about advice in the paper. Advice is not just a luxury, as the Government believes, but a very useful element if people are going to get themselves out of pension poverty and be convinced to pay for financial services which could make their lives better. Turner also clearly increases the burdens on some employers but it is also likely to encourage some dumbing down of existing provision by employers. It also makes it much riskier for financial companies to invest in selling pensions because much of that business may be whisked away and into the NPSS. These two issues add up to one of Turner’s biggest risks – that it could actually cut the levels of savings. If this is a cut in pension savings overall, but one that sees more widespread savings, perhaps this is a price that the Government is prepared to countenance paying. However, someone really ought to let the public know that is the plan. Maybe the opposition parties are up to the task. But perhaps that is one role for advisers in all this process – letting the public know just what on earth is going on.
Insight Investment has appointed Mike Willis as UK small cap fund manager.He will manage Insight’s range of UK small cap funds alongside existing small cap manager, Ed Robinson. Willis will join Insight in July from F&C where he held a similar role.Prior to F&C, he was an investment analyst at Bell Lawrie White in Glasgow […]
Standard Life policyholders have voted overwhelmingly for demutualisation, securing 98 per cent of member votes for the resolution.Of all the votes cast, 1,545,314 voted yes while 32,474, only 2 per cent, voted no. This marks the end of Standard Life’s 81 year-old history as a mutual.The resolution was verified at the special general meeting held […]
Towry Law JS&P Group has sold its general insurance and healthcare arm, Towry Law Insurance Brokers to Broker Network Holdings and a consortium of TLIB directors for £12.5m.Towry Law JS&P Group says the GI arm is not core to its business model and says it will now focus on offering independent financial and wealth management […]
What a week for pensions. Not even pictures of John Prescott playing croquet in the garden of his grace and favour home could stop pensions stories from getting top billing in the papers last week.
Joshua Ausden, Head of Client Investment Strategy, Neptune Read more here Important Information – for Investment Professionals Only. Not for Retail Clients.Investment risksNeptune funds may have a high volatility rating and past performance and forecasts are not a guide to future performance. These are Neptune’s views and as such this document is deemed to be […]
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Another investment manager offering enterprise investment schemes has alerted clients of a 10 per cent drop in value for one of its portfolios following new Mifid rules. Mifid II, which came into force on 3 January, requires firms to notify clients when the overall value of their portfolio, relative to its value at the beginning of each reporting […]
The recent enquiry by the work and pensions select committee has reignited the debate about the future of collective defined contribution schemes. Whether these sort of schemes can be incorporated into the current UK pensions landscape is a moot point. Let’s consider some of the arguments for and against CDC. First of all, it is […]
Retirement interest-only mortgages are set to become more popular following the FCA removing hurdles to selling them. The regulator sees RIO mortgages as a possible aid to the waves of maturing interest-only loans with no repayment strategy. However, the FCA also wants RIO mortgages to be sold more widely, for example as an additional option […]