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Whitechurch sets up pension service

IFA Whitechurch Securities is setting up a pension advisory service to complement its inv-estment advice business.

The service aims to encourage the firm&#39s existing clients to treat retirement planning as part of their fund portfolios.

Whitechurch&#39s service will be available to clients for a minimum fee of £350, for which five advisers will offer face-to-face advice backed by a monthly newsletter covering issues such as annuities and how to evaluate the cost and value of a pension.

Whitechurch says it is offering the service to meet a gap in the market to advise on pensions as investment vehicles and it also follows on from chairman Kean Seager&#39s work as secretary of the Equitable Life Policy Holders Action Group.

As part of the new service, to be launched next month, Whitechurch has produced league tables ranking unit linked and with-profits personal pensions, using criteria such as a provider&#39s financial strength, the range of funds available and quality of service.

It ranks Norwich Union, Scottish Widows and Standard Life as the top three unit-linked providers and Standard Life and Axa Sun Life as offering the best with-profits pensions.

Whitechurch business dev-elopment director David Dav-ies says: “We want to get people thinking of pensions as an investment vehicle and encourage clients to look at both the cost and value of a pension.

“Since the advent of stakeholder, there has been increasing attention focused on the costs associated with pension contracts. While we would not disagree for a moment that charges have to be considered, we would suggest that there is a big difference between cost and value.”

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