Fading appeal of alternatively secured pensions (ASP) »
The benefits of ASP are starting to look pretty marginal -
especially if the aim is saving IHT. If a member nominates someone
other than his or her spouse to receive the lump sum death benefit
under ASP, there will almost certainly be an IHT charge when the
member dies. This will probably be about 20% of the fund, based on
the current way HMRC uses for drawdown. If the beneficiary is
relatively young, for example, well under 50, there might be no
obvious source from which they could pay the tax. This might
suggest a need for life assurance on the member's life, where this
Coming back to life »
Peter Hales is using his Presidency of the CII to reinvigorate
its commitment to life and pensions. He tells Kevin Pratt
that the Institute has much to offer this side of the
industry. The financial services industry has always been a
broad parish. Firms deal variously in life insurance,
individual and corporate pensions, mortgages, investments and
assorted hybrid plans and policies...
TCF: what it means for you »
Clive Briault explains current FSA thinking on Treating
Customers Fairly. Treating Customers Fairly is a key element
in the FSA's retail agenda. We want retail markets to work
more efficiently and effectively, and thereby to deliver through
these markets a fair deal for consumers. Our emphasis is on
outcomes and thus on changing the behaviours of firms and
There's nothing civil about public/private pension split »
Years ago, as the realisation took hold that I was never going
to play for Stockport County or cut it as lead vocalist of a prog
rock band, I took an entry exam for the civil service. Today,
as the realisation sinks in that my pension plans are in a similar
parlous position in my home-town football club, I wish I'd
passed. If I had a public sector pension, I'd be able to
retire at 60, with none of the threats of the fund going the same
way as Gentle Giant or ELP...
A fair crack of the whip? »
Ian Patterson assesses the impact of Treating Customers Fairly
on T&C regimes. I'm sure it won't have escaped your
attention that the Financial Services Authority is currently
placing great emphasis on Treating Customers Fairly. TCF has
been firnly located at the heart of the regulatory framework.
There is, of course, nothing new in the principle that firms must
treat their customers fairly...
Maximising website marketing »
John Harrison explains how web analytics can help you squeeze
more value out of your online marketing efforts. Web
analystics may sound like something you can leave your IT
department to deal with, but it is in fact a key part of online
marketing. Its primary function is measuring how well a web
site is doing in its job. The finance services industry, from
product providers to advisers, is spending millions of pounds on
great-looking web sites...
Hot property? »
The inexperienced, the unregulated and the unqualified are
rushing to persuade clients to use their pension to buy property
abroad. Robin Ali sounds warning bells. Most people
reading this will be aware that, under the pension regime
commencing in April 2006, residential property will vecome an
acceptable investment for a pension fund. In the UK there has
been much talk about the opportunities this may present...
Overseas aid »
Can you meet the protection needs of clients working or living
abroad? Andrew Apps urges advisers to broaden their horizons
with international health insurance. It is estimated that
over a million Britons work abroad and even more have retired to
the sun. France has more than 500,000 UK expatriate
homeowners; in Spain the figure is around 800,000...
News from the PFS from November 2005 »
News from the PFS from November 2005.
The chosen few »
Is it possible to have too many clients? If they are the
lifeblood of any business, can you ever have enough? Karl
Hartey argues that, in reality, less can be more. Running a
successful financial practice is not a crude numbers game. We
grew our business to over 4,000 clients with a support team of
10. That meant everyone was allocated 400 clients.
Ultimately, we simply could not cope...
Getting on course for A-Day »
As Simplification approaches, Financial Solutions reviews
services for PFS members. A-Day is occupying many pages in
the popular press. From Sipps to contribution limits, from
annuities to tax-free cash, people are learning about a range of
issues and beginning to wonder how the changes will affect
them. Should they be taking action? What are the
benefits? Are there dangers?
Accrual twist of fate »
David Davison urges advisers to check out the latest
pronouncements on continued accrual and enhanced protection.
Pension simplification is becoming widely regarded as anything but
simple and this impression was not helped by the recent publication
of technical pages in the Registered Pension Scheme Manual on the
Inland Revenye website...
Trusts and life assurance »
Barbara Gardener examines some aspects of using life policy
trusts in the areas of family protection, inheritance tax
mitigation and probate avoidance. This article is intended
for those who already have a basic understanding of life assurance
trusts. Choice of default beneficiaries under a flexible
trust. Under a typical flexible trust used with a life
assurance policy that is effected for protection or inheritance tax
Training? Take the coach »
Could you boost the quality of your performance, or are you as
good as you'll ever be? Coaching might release your untapped
potential, says Dr Charles Woodruffe. It is reasonable to
state that 99% of us could do better than we are doing at
present. No doubt there are some wizards who sustain
faultless performance all the time. But they are few and far
between. Even the best of us have chinks in our armour...