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Winterthur opens its pensions

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Charges: Annual 0.4-1 per cent.

Allocation rates: 100 per cent.

Minimum term: One day.

Options: None.

Commission: Subject to negotiation.

Tel: 01256 798542.

Broker Panel:-

Gary Mandell – Partner, Charter Mandell

John Holian – Certified financial planner, Maunby Investment Management

Barry Laymond – Senior practitioner, Barry Laymond Financial Services

Brian Duchart – Director, Donington Independent

Broker Ratings:-

Options: 7.3

Flexibility: 7.5

Company&#39s reputation: 6.0

Past performance: 6.8

Charges: 3.3

Commission: 3.0

Product literature: 6.3

Winterthur&#39s open pensions is a cafeteria-style group pension product offering group stakeholder, group money purchase and a group personal pension.

Looking at how the plan fits into the market, Duchart says: “It is a comprehensive range of simply structured pensions.”

Laymond feels that it is just another entrant in what will soon be a crowded market place.

Holian says: “It would suit the adviser dealing with a total re-organisation of a company&#39s pension arrangements. One company could deal with all aspects of a re-organisation including bulk buy-outs. This should ease administration and keep advisory costs down for the client.”

Mandell focuses on the stakeholder aspect: “The bandwagon continues, given that all stakeholders are (nearly) the same, investment performance and administration are the only variables. The fund links take care of the first, the latter is the crux.”

Turning to the type of company that the plan is suitable for, both Laymond and Mandell feel that it would suit any company with five or more employees.

Duchart says: “Any restructuring of existing arrangements or setting up new group personal pensions or stakeholders. Given the choice, most company&#39s don&#39t want to pay a fee.”

Holian says: “Most companies large and small would be able to use it. However, many companies may prefer a plan with less options and a household name such as Legal & General.”

Casting an eye over the marketing opportunities provided by the plan, Holian says: “The plan itself does not provide any special opportunities.”

Laymond and Mandell feel that the plan will not offer any more opportunities than the existing market.

Duchart says: “It can be used for most circumstances regarding existing scheme re-structure or new arrangements.”


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