Overhaul not ideal solution
Who at Aviva came up with this hare-brained idea? (‘Aviva calls for state pension overhaul’, Feb 12).
If somebody of state pension age wants to carry on working but doesn’t want to pay tax on their state pension, all they have to do is reinvest it back into a personal pension (while eligible).
This will probably be tax-neutral and build up larger retirement benefits that are normally outside their estate for inheritance tax.
With future generations not being eligible for state pension until age 68, it would be sheer madness not to take state pension at the earliest age.
In addition, who would pay for and be responsible for this administrative madness that would benefit only a few?
Welcoming in the FCA
I was interested to read Marlene Outrim’s column saying she felt inclined to invite a member of the Financial Conduct Authority to her company to see how they work. (‘The smallest have a difficult road ahead’ Feb 13).
I did precisely that a few years ago with a senior FCA employee I had the pleasure of meeting at an AIFA (now Pimfa) annual dinner.
He took me up on the offer and we gave him the run of the place to look at anything he wanted to look at and to ask anything he wanted to ask.
We had a frank and friendly exchange of views and I think it’s fair to say we both benefited from it. We’ve had a few more such meetings since with all views exchanged under Chatham House rules.
Nobody who’s honest and doing their best for their clients should be afraid of inviting the FCA into their company.
It is not perfect. No organisation is, but in my dealings with the FCA I have always found its people to be genuine, friendly and of the highest professional calibre.
Yes, there are things the FCA does that wind me up no end, but I’ve never felt it was ‘breathing down our necks’ as Ms Outrim phrases it, and neither am I in the least perturbed about Brexit, which I wholeheartedly welcome.
We all want better regulation. One way to get it will be for advisers and regulators to talk to each other in a frank, friendly, honest and open way.
West Riding Personal Financial Solutions
Lack of competition
It is hardly surprising that there is price clustering and a lack of competition among advisers for an ongoing investment service, typically 0.5 per cent, 0.75 per cent or 1 per cent a year (‘Advice fees branded uncompetitive as price clusters revealed’, Feb 5).
Excessive regulation over the years has significantly reduced adviser numbers, with demand for advice exceeding supply.