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Friends Life unveils ‘simple’ RDR proposition

Friends Life has published details of what it describes as its “simple” charging proposition post-Retail Distribution Review, which will include a range of consultancy charging options for corporate pensions and facilitated initial and ongoing charges on its suite of retirement products.

The company said it is focused on a flexible approach to corporate benefits and is developing a toolkit to assist advisers with the new legislation.

It plans to provide a supported facilitated consultancy charging option on group schemes that is “fair, transparent and easily understood by employers and employees”.

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There will be a range of remuneration options on a consultancy charging basis for the flexible retirement account on its corporate wrap platform, while its charging modeller tool will enable advisers to assess the potential effects at scheme level

With regards to retirement income, Friends will be facilitating a straightforward adviser charging arrangement for some annuities, paid either as a percentage of the fund (after any tax free cash has been taken) or a flat monetary amount.

It also highlighted that fee facilitation will continue to be available for those individual full Sipp drawdowns.

Lifetime care will launch a fee facilitation service on 1 October 2012, offering illustrations on a nil-commission basis with the option to add an advice charge to the premium.

Friends Provident International will offer a facilitated adviser charging service on investment products open to new business in the UK, including updated literature and a facilitated adviser charging service.

The facilitated adviser charging service will be available for reserve advance, the succession planning bond and reserve for top-ups on policies previously sold in the UK.

RDR does not affect overseas products and nor does it affect protection products.

Individual protection will continue to offer the existing commission arrangements without change and will also facilitate an adviser charge agreed by the adviser and client by offering an option on its quotation system where the premium is reduced incrementally to reflect the fee agreed.

For group protection, Friends Provident will continue to offer commission and support intermediaries who choose to be remunerated by a fee paid for by their clients.

Colin Williams, managing director of corporate benefits at Friends Life, said: “RDR is a landmark moment for the financial services industry and everyone working within it.

“We are fully supportive of the increased standards and transparency the reforms will bring and we are working to make it as easy as possible for advisers to make the changes required.

“We are focused on making the Friends Life proposition as simple as possible, so as to ensure a smooth transition into the post-RDR world.

“As such we have developed a flexible approach that we hope will provide advisers with appropriate options for both themselves and their clients.”