Your Shout: Letters to the editor

Financial Adviser Letters

Financial Adviser Letters

Retiring with some certainty

Trust in government and state pensions is at an all-time low, and no wonder.

Longevity and ability to carry on working are two totally different things, but number crunchers ignore that because they probably have a remit to justify increasing the state pension age.

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To prevent successive governments unfairly pulling the promised benefits (at a promised age) from the people, the answer is blindingly obvious.

Each year, every person who has earned a state pension credit should be guaranteed that state pension credit for that amount, guaranteed to be paid at the retirement age that was promised under law at that time. In other words, create a contracted benefit that cannot be reneged at parliamentary whim.

At least this way people might be able to plan their retirement with some degree of certainty.

Clive Fox


Court ruling 

I fully endorse Mr Justice Snowden’s decision over the Prudential annuities transfer to Rothesay Life and his explanatory comments(August 19).

I have worked overseas as a research scientist for and in developing countries for most of my working life. And despite making – for many years – second class national insurance contributions to the UK, I receive a UK state pension of only £4,490 a year.

On retirement, I converted my two Equitable Life policies, taken out in my early twenties, for £1,000 and £2,000 respectively, to Prudential pension policies on the advice of a government advisory service. 

You will be aware that Equitable Life was highly regarded at the time yet nevertheless suffered badly – evidently due to poor management many years later. I believe I was similarly well advised to take out Prudential pension policies. 

It was with some dismay I learned of its proposed transfer to another company that I had never heard of.

Thank goodness the case went to the High Court and was not left just to the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Richard Vernon


CII backtracks

I write concerning the story about the Chartered Insurance Institute’s backtracking over its financial planning qualification plans with St James’s Place.

The PR writers have obviously been busy sorting out the CII’s position on this issue.

The course still comes across as having been an exclusive facility created for SJP, ignoring the potential backlash from members in general.

Fair enough, SJP has made a good contribution to preparatory work. But the worrying aspect here is that one strongly commercial company is involved, apparently, and able to stamp its own sales approach to whatever subject is involved.

Does it matter? Yes, definitely. Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, has been an advocate of “a single advice industry” with no regard for the very different interests and disciplines.

For example, advisers working for the client investor, in contrast with agents of product providers selling their products.