Cofunds waives suspended fees as it rolls out new option

Cofunds is waiving the platform charges on unbundled transactions within a self-invested personal pension wrapper that have been accrued in the past six months as it belatedly rolls out “enhanced” charging options, FTAdviser understands.

In April of this year, Cofunds suspended charges while it implemented enhanced explicit charging options, following the Retail Distribution Review’s focus on unbundled charging structures.

Its system previously only allowed for investment-based charges to be taken from a client’s main platform cash account, rather than the pension trading account that sits within the product wrapper, which benefits from tax relief. This meant fees were taken net of tax and ultimately equated to a larger sum for the client.

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Under the new charging system, such clients will be able to have their monthly investment-based platform charge taken from the trading account of Retail Distribution Review-compliant pension and bond products.

According to a statement from Cofunds, taking the charge from the trading account instead of the investors’ cash account could be more tax-efficient and thus allow greater tax planning.

It has also written to clients telling them the platform would not seek to claw back charges for the period between when they were suspended until today.

Stephen Wynne-Jones, head of marketing at Cofunds, said: “This is just one of a series of enhancements we’ll be rolling out over the coming months to improve the flexibility of the platform and intuitiveness of the website.”