UK regulator seeks to stem flow of exits from DB schemes

first_img“Deciding whether to transfer out of a DB scheme is one of the most complex financial decisions a consumer may have to make and it is vital customers get high quality advice. Our ambition is for pension transfer advice to reach the same standard as that of the rest of the financial advice market.” “The sooner that action is taken against those who are not doing a proper job, the more confidence consumers can have when they seek transfer advice”Sir Steve Webb, Royal LondonSir Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London and the UK pensions minister when so-called ‘pension freedoms’ were introduced, said: “Good advisers are rigorously screening out people who should not transfer and make clear the advantages of staying in a DB scheme. But some are relying on unregulated introducers to drum up business and seem to be leaning much too far towards recommending transfers.“The sooner that action is taken against those who are not doing a proper job, the more confidence consumers can have when they seek transfer advice.”Bob Scott, senior partner at LCP, added that greater flexibility regarding access to DB savings could help reduce the number of inappropriate transfers, but acknowledged that “there are no signs the government intends to act on this”.“As long as DB flexibilities aren’t directly available, trustees and employers might consider whether to offer partial transfers,” he said. “Such arrangements can enable members to access some of their DB pension flexibly while not giving up all of the security that a DB pension brings.”Ford’s UK pension scheme announced plans to introduce partial transfers last year.LCP’s Scott added that employers and pension scheme trustees “should consider whether to appoint a dedicated IFA to their scheme and offer paid-for or subsidised advice to members on certain occasions that would help members understand all their options better, and would guard against people taking inappropriate decisions on the basis of bad advice”.The FCA’s DB transfer advice survey in numbers2,426 Advice firms polled by the FCA that worked on DB transfer cases234,951 Scheme members who received advice162,047 Scheme members who were recommended to transfer out of their DB scheme£82.8bn Total value of DB pensions on which transfer advice was given£352,303 Average value of DB pot per member Megan Butler, FCAMore than 1,400 advice companies – out of 3,015 surveyed by the regulator – recommended a transfer out of a DB scheme for more than 75% of their clients. However, when the FCA factored in advisers’ “triage” processes, the figure fell to 55%.While the FCA acknowledged that the data did not reflect the “suitability” of advice, it gave the regulator “the information it needs to focus its supervision work to drive up the quality of advice”.The regulator said it would write to “all firms where the potential for harm has been identified in the data the firm has supplied”.Transfers from DB schemes to defined contribution (DC) arrangements have increased in recent years following a 2015 rule change that opened up greater flexibilities for DC savers at retirement.center_img The UK’s financial regulator has issued a damning report on advice relating to transfers out of defined benefit (DB) schemes, declaring that “too much advice… is still not of an acceptable standard”.The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been conducting an in-depth review of the UK’s financial advice market for several years, redoubling its efforts since the restructuring of the British Steel Pension Scheme highlighted the vulnerability of DB pension savers to inappropriate or fraudulent advice.It reviewed cases for 235,000 DB members who received advice about moving their pensions out of DB schemes and into other arrangements. Of those, 69% were recommended a transfer, despite the FCA and the Pensions Regulator repeatedly warning that doing so was rarely in scheme members’ best interests.Announcing the findings today, Megan Butler, executive director of supervision, wholesale and specialists at the FCA, said: “We have said repeatedly that, when advising on DB transfers, advisers should start from the position that a transfer is not suitable. It is deeply concerning and disappointing to see that transfers are still being recommended at the levels we have seen.last_img read more

A touch of the pirate life in real estate booty

first_img This property at 14 Dingo Mountain Road, Crows Nest, QLD, covers 4.31 hectares and has access to a creek.Or if you simply like the idea of being in Crows Nest — either in South East Queensland or New South Wales — there are many options that would shiver the timbers of many wannabe pirates.On the edge of the Great Dividing Range, Crows Nest is an 1,800 hectare national park in South East Queensland, located two hours from Brisbane. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:12Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:12 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhen is the best time to sell or buy? Property cycles explained02:13 MORE: Would you pay $5m for a home you’ll bulldoze More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours agoPort Adelaide is home to an array of waterfront bars and restaurants and attractions like clipper ships.Port Adelaide is home to the City of Adelaide Clipper Ship, which has become a tourist attraction and the area is awash with marina front walkways, award-winning restaurants, funky cafes, wine bars. Residents meander through the likes of Port Admiral Hotel and Pirate Life Brewery, and historic pubs like Dockside Tavern 1850, Port Anchor Hotel 1873, Port Dock Brewery Hotel 1855 and The Lighthouse Hotel 1857. Scomo miracle, RBA and APRA driving real estate turnaround 36 Sarah Court, Coffin Bay, SA 5607; 4 2 6 3,163 m² House; $595,000. Picture: Realestate.com.auThis massive 3,163sq m property has a four bedder and a real ship in the garden.The suburb alone — Coffin Bay — is enough to tempt an old sea dog with the two bath, six car space property on the market for $595,000.Agent Mike Bowyer of Raine & Horne Port Lincoln described it as a modern pavilion style residence, close to the Coffin Bay Sporting Club and golf course, with extensive gardens. Expressions of interest for this warehouse conversion close September 23.For the urban landlubber who likes a hint of adventure and the smell of the water without having to climb the gangplank, a stunning warehouse conversion in Port Adelaide might be the go.Agents Nick Psarros and Melinda Bennett of Ray White Port Adelaide have a jawdropping 1880s two bedroom warehouse conversion over four levels on the market — with expressions of interest closing Monday September 23. 11th FLOOR/973 GOLD COAST HWY, Palm Beach, Qld 4221. Picture: Realestate.com.auThe water views in the 11th floor two bed apartment will definitely shiver your timbers with the 105sq m two bath, one car park unit on the market for $609,000.Agent Kath Freeman of Kath Freeman Realty — Palm Beach described it as having “nothing between you and the beach”. This three bed lifestyle property could make a landlubber out of you in Crows Nest, QLD.Among properties on the market in Crows Nest is this classic three bedroom worker’s cottage at 14 Dingo Mountain Road which comes with 4.31 hectares of land. The property was priced at $339,000 with agent Tammy King of Ray White — Rural Crows Nest describing it as having “elevated views with a creek frontage”. Grab your favourite buccaneer, cockswain or landlubber and take a sticky beak at these properties. You might not be able to scamper up Jacob’s ladder and hoist the Jolly Roger, but it has whiff of the whimsical to be sure. You can spy a bit of the mast at the end of the garden.“Out in the garden, every turn offers a surprise, from mosaic pergola to shade courtyards to little wooden bridges, even a full size pirate ship,” was how he listed it.For the little mateys, a Palm Beach property allows you to have a similar experience — without having to spend any doubloons on the upkeep of the “schooner”, with a pirate ship park close by. The property has parks at its door, including this pirate beauty.“Sand, sea and glorious sunrises … adjacent to the still waters of Currumbin Estuary, ocean right at your doorstep, surf, fishing, leisurely walks on the full length of the beach to Burleigh Headland. Wake up to the sounds of the waves,” was how it was listed.You may even call out “thar she blows” as you watch the whales go by in the open water. It’s not a crows nest but this rooftop entertainment and chill-out zone even has a soak tub.“Boasting a 40ft ceiling creating the ultimate statement with skylights allowing natural light into the uncrowded living area. With soaring ceilings, exposed red brick walls, raw timber columns and polished timber floorboards the scene is set for this stylish and unique home.” You can see for miles from the balcony of this unit at 704/220 Pacific Hwy, Crows Nest in New South Wales.In New South Wales, being up high at Crows Nest could mean getting into a one bed unit like this one at 704/220 Pacific Highway. It was priced at $720,000 to $750,000 with agent Vincent Foo of Calibre Properties Sydney — Ultimo listing it as having “spectacular panoramic views over Wollstonecraft to the Parramatta River and beyond”. Port Adelaide seems tailor-made for those who have a hankering for the ocean, love the seafaring life and a taste of the old days in the 21st century.Ahoy me hearties, if you have an hankering for a bit of pirate in your life this may be the ideal solution — a pirate ship, well not a real one but enough to whet the appetite.If you can’t wait to sail the Seven Seas but have to belay that because “life” keeps getting in the way, these beauties offer a way to keep the dream alive this National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Whopping $8.4m mansion sale new Brisbane auction record FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOKlast_img read more

Why I’m Not Excited by Nigeria  at Winter Olympics

first_imgThey say logic in Nigeria works in reverse to what happens in the progressive world and for me, nothing explains this better than countries like Nigeria and Togo participating in this year’s winter Olympics in PyeongChang. As far as Nigerian sports go, the euphoria that has surrounded the four ladies representing Nigeria can only have been matched by the popularity of the Super Eagles in a World Cup tournament where they have progressed beyond the group stage and there is a real chance of them reaching the quarter-finals. Just six months ago, no one in Nigeria knew about the existence of this quartet. Today, they are a fairytale for all: fans and sponsors alike. I can accept this as a brilliant self-promotional gimmick by the ladies. But to pass it off as a patriotic adventure just does not cut ice with a bad belle guy like meLet me illustrate what this piece is about with two analogies. Firstly, I swim for exercise and have done so at the same sports club for about 15 years. Recently I arrived at the pool and saw that someone had erected two water polo goalposts. I asked what that was about and was told they wanted to introduce water polo to the club. I was amused. We wanted to practise water polo when we did not even have a swimming team, let alone one that could compete.My second is about when the legendary Singaporean leader, Lee Kuan Yew, visited Ghana in January 1966. At a dinner where he was a guest of the famous Kwame Nkrumah, the former Ghanaian president gushed about the prospects of post-colonial Ghana and the brilliance of a 30-year-old compatriot, also a guest, who had achieved a first in Classics from Oxford University and was the vice chancellor of the University of Ghana. Indeed Yew said he found the young man to be bright, but wondered why a country that was overwhelmingly dependent on agriculture would send its brightest minds to study Classics!Let me start by addressing the patriotism issue. Maybe these ladies are born-again, but the fact as we know it from the admission of at least two of them, is that these are athletes who not too long ago were competing for places in the national teams of the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Had they succeeded, there would be no Nigerian team at the winter games today.As for being models for achieving the impossible, how about we aim to win gold in the 100m of the summer games first? Does that not look like an impossibility for us at this time? How about we aim to be a leading nation in the sports for which we at least have a chance – like the sprints, wrestling, boxing, long and triple jumps etc. How about the patriotic sponsors of this marketing spectacle put some money behind real Nigerian sports so we can actually become competitive in a way that our country can be respected.I can actually see non-Africans being amused by this, but I can’t see them respecting us for it. The famed Jamaican bobsled have already secured the patent for the novelty. The world knows it does not snow in Africa; the world knows that as long as Africans romanticise about events like this they would always dream of a life away from Africa; the world knows this that the fallout of this can only be the deepening of immigration concerns in the west.Like my water polo aficionados, the novelty of this adventure will pass in Nigeria and the winter games will become what it should be for us – a non-event. Even if some copycat patriots rise up in the future, they cannot be world class. It takes much more to be at the top tier of any sport in today’s world, and even if you find a Nigerian crazy enough to commit their lives from a very early age to winter sports, chances are that the flag they will hoist at the games would be more blue and red than green white green.We must not confuse the quest to do the impossible with the quest for the unreasonable. However I’d be surprised if these ladies do not become celebrities with fat contracts and contacts in Nigeria. They deserve that for their marketing savvy and industry. But that is where it ends for me. The reality is that we have real athletes in our country who have devoted their lives to the Nigerian dream. Support them, celebrate them, don’t rubbish them as this unwittingly does.I imagine this would be an unpopular piece, but I really do not mind being on the less favored side of this debate. They say the only race that understands how we approach things is the black race. How we can make a great show or this and make it a model for our children and still expect to succeed at anything locally, beats the hell “outta” me.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more