View more on these topics

Virgin targets the &#39forgotten&#39 GPP market

IFAs&#39 share of the stakeholder market is being threatened by the entry of

Virgin Direct into the lucrative group personal pension market.

Virgin claims employers are the forgotten customers and have been

neglected by intermediaries and pension scheme providers, a claim angrily

denied by IFAs.

Virgin&#39s new service will be an internet-based pension operation free to

employers.

The company says it is responding to demand from employers looking for a

“genuine stakeholder”.

It says many employers facing the 3 per cent opt-out will stick with or

choose to take out high-charging outdated GPP schemes which do not offer

the same value for money as the proposed stakeholder schemes.

Virgin says its key audience is “get-up and go” small to medium-sized

enterprises.

The company says it is committed to bringing a human touch to managing

workplace pensions.

But IFAs are outraged at Virgin&#39s allegations that they have not been

servicing their corporate clients.

Maddison Monetary Management managing director Mark Howard says:

“Employers are not the forgotten customers. That is absolute hogwash.

Virgin might have mill- ions but it is a mistake to start off in the market

by slagging off the competition.

“There is enough room for everyone. Virgin needs to get off their pedestal

although they are right that the internet will be the most cost-effective

way of offering stakeholder.”

Wentworth Rose Independent managing director Phi- lip Rose says: “Virgin

has scratched around for a sales message. It is a very strange statement

when it is indep-endent advisers who have really pushed the GPP market

forward.”

l Britannic Assurance is recruiting 40 corporate consultants in

preparation for its entry into the stakeholder market. It is also planning

a major marketing campaign targeting companies with between five and 50

staff.

Recommended

Life offices slam Govt over with-profits rule

Life offices are accusing the Government of excluding with-profits fundsfrom stakeholder pensions by stealth.The industry fears the Government risks alienating a large part of thepotential stakeholder market for whom with-profits would be an ideal firststep into equity-style investments.Life offices estimate that up to 70 per cent of group personal pensionmembers participate in with-profits funds.The claim […]

Pru to go ahead with Egg flotation

Prudential is pressing ahead with its plans to float internet bankingoperation Egg next month despite recent falls in technology stocks.The Pru admits it had second thoughts about the flotation after continuingvolatility in the tech markets but finally decided to go ahead last week.However, the decision has cost Pru billions on paper.The price range is to […]

Trees not a crowd for consumers

Last week, the FSA set out its ideas for regulating the selling ofstakeholder pensions. We want to hear what the industry, consumer groupsand others think before we consult on formal rules and guidance later inthe summer.Stakeholder pensions can only be sold if they meet the minimum standardslaid down by the Government. We have taken the […]

Independent View

A graph of the FTSE Techmark Index certainly shows the ups and downs ofinvestment. Just like the Grand Old Duke of York, tech stocks marched backdown again.What we have seen is a first-class example of why investors should takeindependent financial advice.The role of the IFA has always been a handholding one. Do not kid yourselfthat […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment