Pension switching times and Woodford woes: the week in news

Martin Birch, a partner at the firm, said it could offer the "perfect home" to financial planners with the "right ethos".

He told FTAdviser the company was seeking advisers with chartered status as they offered a "certain level of experience and client book".

The drives comes amid concerns raised about a huge recruitment crisis in the advice industry — with 15,000 advisers set to leave the profession in the next ten years — but Mr Birch said the exodus was an "opportunity" rather than a "challenge".

5 Stop the clock

It was announced self-invested personal pension providers would be among those given exemptions on pension switching times this week as all pension and platform providers were urged to sign up to the new Star initiative.

Star, which was formed in October as a partnership between Criterion and TeX, has set time limits of 14 days for cash transactions and 15 days for occupational scheme transfers between pension schemes.

But because Sipps often come with complex assets such as commercial property, which typically take more time to be transferred, such providers will be able to 'stop the clock' so parts of the pension switching process wouldn't count towards the total switching time.

The specific requirements of the Star initiative and how the 'stop the clock' method will work is yet to be established.

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on to let us know.