UK - Two leading pension providers have refused to participate in the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) latest comparative table for personal pensions and stakeholder providers.
St James’s Place and Skandia both declined to take part in the the table which make comparisons between more than 80 personal and stakeholder pensions, based on a series of indicators, including the effect of charges and deductions over the lifetime of a pension; how expensive it is to stop paying into a pension after just three years; whether payments are invested in a unit-linked or with-profits fund; the number of free switches allowed each year between funds from the same provider, and whether a provider charges if payments are increased, decreased or missed.
Swedish financial services group also refused to participate in the FSA’s earlier table on IFA’s. The firm argued that price alone is not a “meaningful” indicator, and that past performance should also be included:
“Decent, meaningful statistics, this is what we want to see,” she said.
“Pensions are complex things. ...Price in isolation is not sufficient enough to make a decision on.”
David Lamb, spokesman for St. James's Place added: We have decided not to participate in the FSA comparative tables as they have been compiled soley on the basis of charges and do not reflect the considerable value and comprehensive advice offered by the St. James's Place.
Commenting on the purpose of the tables, Christine Farnish, consumer director at the FSA said that tables intended to “put some useful facts at [consumer] fingertips and will help [consumers] draw up a shortlist of products... .”
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