Letter: Consultation needed on permitted investment list

Adam Wrench

As you will be aware, the pensions industry is unfortunately no stranger to scandal. That is why it is imperative that we, as an industry, work together to prevent pension savers becoming embroiled in further scandals and to help to restore trust and faith in pensions.

Talbot and Muir has been quoted as saying that such a list would “stifle innovation” which we wholeheartedly disagree with as it is possible to have product innovation without exposing the client to unnecessary risk.

However, we are in agreement with Talbot and Muir in suggesting that HMRC undertakes an industry-wide consultation on what a restored permitted investments list should look like. Of course different views will be had, but it is important that we work as an industry to recognise best practice and standards for clients. There is a huge grey area when it comes to pension investments that are open to legal interpretation and providers should work together, along with HMRC, the FCA and The Pensions Regulator, to discuss ways in which this can be overcome.

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In my opinion, HMRC should urgently instigate a consultation across all pension providers regarding the reinstatement of a permitted investment list, but at the same time it is important for that we as an industry work together to shield our clients from any unnecessary risks.

Adam Wrench

Head of business and product development

London & Colonial

Haywards Heath

West Sussex