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Windsor Life and seven days – seven months more like. If Standard Life can do everything via one telephone call (that is for an internal annuity) and no forms, why can’t everybody else? If it is that easy for an internal process it cannot be that much more difficult for an external transfer.

Standard Life does for once deserve credit. This week, within 30 minutes, under the triviality rules, closure and payment of fund was agreed and set up, with an expectation of the sum being in the client’s account by Friday.

Chris Marsham, C&M Financial Services

OK, time for a statement of the blindingly obvious. It takes an eternity to transfer pension funds because the companies regard a transfer as non-productive business and allocate a disproportionately small element of their resources to this task.

If you owe the providers money, you may hear the screech of brakes outside your door at midnight but if you are trying to get providers to transfer funds out, then you need first of all to get the clerk in the company who deals with transfers (England) and wait. And of course the forms, the forms……

Blair Cann, M Thurlow & Co

The Options initiative is welcome but there are many more steps which could be taken to ensure customers are treated fairly.

First, all payments should be made by telegraphic transfer, which avoids delays from clearing via a cheque or BACs.

Second, if a client misses a guarantee period from an annuity provider because of ceding scheme delays and they lose out, they should automatically be compensated by the pension company so they are not disadvantaged.

Tough regulations are the only language these companies understand, particularly companies closed to new business.

Owen Wintersgill, Axxis Financial

Response to Tory claims that their policies will benefit IFAs

Politicians always speak with forked tongues. Remember the Gower Report and how the Conservative party started regulation on the road to ruin?

I am sure that they will win and equally sure that they will do little or nothing to put right the mess caused by the FSA.

John Blackmore


Change on hold for Henderson range

Henderson New Star head of equities and multi-manager Bill McQuaker says the firm is unlikely to look at any rationalisation of the multi-manager range until 2010.

Rescue details

The new regulations allow mutual investors to convert tier-2 subordinated debt into “profit-participating deferred shares”, which will award them with 25 per cent of all future profits. The FSA has deemed these PPDS shares as core tier-1 capital.

In with the new

With much positive sentiment these days, opportunities are presenting themselves on a number of investment fronts. By no means is everyone yet convinced of the current rally and there is debate over the asset class of choice but adding to the plethora of choice for investors are a number of new funds – and not just straightforward equity funds.


Guide: day-to-day tasks ​— can your system manage?

This guide from Johnson Fleming will take you through the required communication and also give ideas for additional actions that will ensure your auto-enrolment project is a success. As well as highlighting what is required from a system to ensure it is up to the tasks, an overview of the following is also provided: data validation; data categorisation; employee communication; opt-in process; opt-out process; produce contribution schedule; contribution reconciliation process; upload of member data to pension provider; upload contribution to pension provider; manage salary sacrifice process; enrolment process; re-enrolment process; and management of increased employee queries.


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