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Pandemic pushes 154,000 into early retirement

Over 154,000 people aged 55-64 have opted for early retirement due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.

The LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Monitor found that over 154,000 people aged 55-64 have opted for early retirement because of redundancy and reduced income.

A desire to reduce their risk of exposure to Coronavirus or the pandemic made them reassess their priorities in life, the research revealed.

The LV= research among those who were still working at the start of 2020 revealed that 3% of those aged 55-64 have taken early retirement due to the pandemic.

The research also found that 4% of those aged 55-64 have accessed some of their pensions savings to supplement their income because they have been made redundant or seen their earnings decline.

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The LV= research also highlighted that people were often unprepared for early retirement.

Of those surveyed, 86%

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1825 CEO Scott exits for Royal London

Julie Scott, chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen’s Financial Planning arm 1825 for the past four years, is leaving for a new role as chief customer officer at Royal London.

Her departure follows a number of job cutbacks and changes at 1825 last October.

Ms Scott holds the roles of CEO of 1825 and interim lead for Personal business at Standard Life Aberdeen.

In a revamp of its UK Adviser & Personal divisions SLA is now looking for a CEO of its Personal arm. In the interim, Noel Butwell, chief executive of the Adviser arm, will act as CEO of Personal.

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Also in the UK Adviser & Personal divisions David Mouille, formerly of Citi Bank and Merrill Lynch, has joined the corporate development team and will report to James Aird. He will support growth in the Personal sector.

1825 has made a eight acquisitions in the past five

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FSCS levy to soar by a third to top £1bn

 

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is forecasting a levy for 2021/22 of £1.04bn, up £339m from the £700m raised the previous year due mainly to soaring numbers of claims.

The FSCS expects continuing failures in the SIPP sector and says the cost of compensating victims of the collapsed mini-bond firm London Capital & Finance is much higher than expected.

The FSCS said in its Annual Plan and Budget out today: “We expect further failures of self-invested personal pension (SIPP) operators. Claims in relation to SIPP operators are forecast to account for £336m of the Investment Provision’s anticipated £345m compensation costs. The compensation cost for this class is a significant (89%) increase on 2020/21, mainly due to expectations that firms in this sector may fail.”

Because of rising claims the FSCS will go ahead with a supplementary levy of £78m to be invoiced in February although the FSCS said this was

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Editor’s Column: FSCS levy reform can’t come too soon

If I was a Financial Planner I would likely be infuriated by the news today from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme forecasting a levy on regulated firms of over £1bn over the next 12 months, up 30% on the previous year.

The seemingly inexorable increase in the levy has undoubtedly left many advisers hopping mad but perhaps it’s time for some cooler thinking.

It’s too often forgotten that the levy pays for invaluable compensation for consumers who have lost money due to their adviser or provider failing.

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That seems to me a worthwhile job and I suspect most planners and advisers accept that too. Ditching the safety-net is not an option.

One could argue the protection is too generous and that consumers should take more responsibility for their investments but ultimately the FSCS underpins consumer protection in the UK. It’s not a perfect solution but for investors who

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FSCS £1bn levy warning is a ‘scandal’ – PIMFA

Wealth manager trade body PIMFA has attacked the FSCS forecast today of a £1bn compensation levy as a “scandal” which points to regulation failing consumers and firms.

The trade association said the industry has reacted with “disbelief” over the plans for a levy a third higher than the previous year amid a backdrop of soaring claims and firm failures.

PIMFA says the soaring FSCA levy highlights that urgent regulatory reform is needed.

Tim Fassam, director of government relations and Policy at PIMFA , said the soaring cost of the levy is a symptom of a system that is out of control.

PIMFA wants the Treasury to find an alternative way of funding the FSCS levy which is used to compensate savers and investors when their provider has failed.

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The levy has soared due to pensions and SIPP failures and the collapse of £236m mini-bond firm London Capital &

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FCA proposes CMC fee price cap

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed a price cap on the fees claims management companies (CMCs) charge their customers in relation to claims for financial products and services.

The proposed cap would restrict CMC feeds to 15-30%, depending on how much redress a consumer is due.

The maximum charge under the proposals falls into five redress bands, with the maximum percentage falling the higher the consumer redress obtained.

The cap will apply to all claims where a consumer is awarded monetary redress other than PPI claims which are already subject to a 20% cap set by Parliament.

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Some consumers currently pay fees of more than 40% of their compensation, according to the regulator.

Under the proposals CMCs will also be required to disclose key information, including giving consumers more information about how the fees they pay will be calculated and better signposting to the free alternative routes

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Jupiter reshuffles sustainable funds team

Fund manager Jupiter has reshuffled its sustainable investing team in a move which sees the exit of 20 year Jupiter veteran Charlie Thomas for a new role outside the company.

The changes include:

  • Abbie Llewellyn-Waters appointed head of sustainable investing
  • Rhys Petheram appointed head of environmental solutions
  • Charlie Thomas has left to become CIO at EdenTree Investment Management
  • Jon Wallace appointed fund manager of Jupiter Ecology, Jupiter Responsible Income, equity segment of Jupiter Global Ecology Diversified and Jupiter Green Investment Trust 

Ms Llewellyn-Waters has 15 years of sustainable investment experience and has managed the Jupiter Global Sustainable Equities fund since launch.

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In her new role, she will lead the firm’s sustainable investing capability while continuing to focus on managing the global sustainable equity strategy.

She will work with Jupiter veteran Edward Bonham Carter who has taken on a new role focusing on the company’s stewardship and corporate responsibility

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Latest Financial Planning Today Magazine out now

The latest edition of Financial Planning Today Magazine has just been published and includes lots of exclusive insights and analysis, including a Cover Feature on how Financial Planning professionals are increasingly targeting the wealth management sector. 

Other key features in the UK’s premier publication for fee-based Financial Planners and Paraplanners include:

• How to Sell a Financial Planning business in the pandemic with Giles Dunning of Stephens Scown 

Planner Casebook: Mike Seagrove of Albert Goodman unravels a complex SSAS case for two business partners

Inside My Business Simon Goldthorpe of Beaufort Group talks about plans for the future

The Client Hunter with Andy Jervis of Chesterton House

Global Economic Prospects in 2021 Bill Street of Quintet looks at the shape of the world economy 

• ESG Trends Claudia Quiroz explores ESG investing and the part technology plays

DFM Update Analysis from expert Fraser Donaldson of

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PFS backs Financial Vulnerability Taskforce

The Personal Finance Society has been a key mover behind the launch of an independent Financial Vulnerability Taskforce aimed at supporting planners and advisers to spot and tackle consumer vulnerability.

The professional body, which awards the Chartered Financial Planner designation and has 40,000 members, says it wants to improve client outcomes and increase access to financial advice.

Advisers will be encouraged to support the taskforce campaign and sign up for a new Financial Vulnerabilty Charter.

The taskforce will promote wider understanding of clients in vulnerable circumstances and encourage good practice as well as addressing the expectations of regulatory standards and public expectations. 

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To adopt the Financial Vulnerability Charter financial advisers need to commit to the nine core consumer guide pledges.

These:

  1. Acknowledge their services involve the application of specialist and technical financial knowledge which places many clients in a position of dependency.
  2. Ensure clients’ interests are placed above
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7IM latest platform to axe VAT from MPS

7IM has become the latest platform to announce the removal of VAT charges from its Managed Portfolio Service (MPS).

The price changes will come into effect as of 1 February 2021 and apply to the model portfolios available to Financial Planners through the 7IM platform as well as third party platforms.

7IM follows a growing number of providers removing VAT from their Managed Portfolio Services, recently including Brooks Macdonald and AJ Bell.

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The decision to remove VAT follows industry discussions with HMRC about the requirement to add VAT to MPS products with HMRC indicating it is not required. Other firms which have now removed VAT from MPS investment products include Brewin Dolphin, Tilney Smith & Williamson and Investec.

The changes mean the 7IM Active and Passive model portfolios will have an all-in cost of 0.25% going forward, while the Bespoke model portfolios range between 0.25%-0.30%.

The 7IM Pathway

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