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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Churning for Value?

July 16th was National Ice Cream day! Thanks to Michelle Cracknell from the Pensions Advisory Service for reminding me.

Image result for gelato

I have paraphrased her article here:

Apparently the difference between Gelato and Ice Cream is determined by 'churn'. American ice cream is whipped to create air, increasing the quantity by 25%. Cheap ice cream is whipped so hard that its volume can increase by 50% or even 90%. Whereas, Gelato goes for the slow churn making it very smooth but not increased in volume. This means that Gelato needs to be taken out of the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving.

With the exit charges cap that was introduced in April, we have a situation where it could be better for some pension savers to 'churn' their old policy into a new style contract.

'Churning' by salesmen to 'earn' extra commission is frowned upon, but 'churning' to derive better value is to be welcomed of course.

Even if you do not need money from your pension pot now, it's worth checking with your provider on the amount of the exit charge plus also the ongoing charges on the contract in order to better understand if you are getting value for money.

It may be worth transferring to a new pension contract with lower charges and/or better investment options. This works if your exit charge has been reduced because of the 1% cap.

Read more about it here.


It is like Gelato, the churn means that it tastes creamier than ice cream even though it uses more milk than cream, so it does not have nearly as much fat.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Pensions Manager re-launches business site!

Click here to visit INTEGRITY PENSIONS

Here you can view my affordable business services to employers and trustee boards. I also help explain personal finance, pensions and investments to individuals and occasionally represent them in complaints to financial services companies and even the relevant Ombudsman.


I am currently assisting WS Atkins - a former FTSE250 (now acquired by SNC Lavalin) leading civil engineering, design and project manager specialist, but am always interested in keeping in touch with anyone that might need short, medium or longer term assistance at some point in the future.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Exit Penalties to be capped - at last!

Pension early exit fees are to be capped for anyone over age 55, and about time!

Even David Brent is apathetic over pensions but when he is 55 he could benefit!!!

The Government announced in the last few days this great news for pension investors stuck in old style rip-off pensions typically sold in the bad old days - the 80s and 90s, but right up until 2004 in many cases.
Government figures show more than 300,000 people could benefit from this hard fought victory by campaigners including Which?, Henry Tapper, Martin & Paul Lewis (not related) and others. Possibly even this blog might of helped!
Steve Bee, the self-styled Pensions Guru did not help quite so much, and has campaigned more on the side of the IFAs and insurers who benefitted from high charges and overriding commissions, residuals, etc.
It has been proposed the cap will be 1% of fund values on existing pensions and this should take effect from end of March 2017. 
Policies set up after then will not be allowed to charge any early exit fees.
This cap will cover personal pensions and it is proposed a similar cap will apply to occupational pensions too, although most occupational pensions are set up more carefully with advisers, but smaller pension schemes (or most likely Group Personal Pension) set up by financial advisers may have exit penalties.
The final rules are expected later this year.