With many intermediaries seemingly disinterested in selling stakeholder, web link-ups with employers could offer the solution to slow take-up
Intermediaries can more efficiently sell and administer stakeholder pensions via inter-net link-ups with employers, according to Andy Millburn, promotions leader at Royal & SunAlliance.
He said advisers linking to employer payroll systems can bring in a lot of revenue using software to limit the amount of work that is needed. It is important that intermediaries look at the whole process of dealing with employers, according to Millburn.
He added: 'Rather than just pointing to the internet and saying 'there it is', advisers should be walking employers and their staff through the process.'
Some product providers are focusing more on individual stakeholder plans. Friends Provident has launched an online stakeholder product that will enable investors to set up a policy for themselves or their family.
Shanti Dougal, head of e-business at Friends Provident, said: 'Most of the customers who buy a stakeholder pension from our website would not go to an adviser. Intermediaries often find selling stakeholder is not worth their while.' However, the internet stakeholder offering does pay commission if it goes through an adviser, he added.
A special opening offer means those who contribute £100 from now until 30 April will receive a Tesco voucher worth £50. The pension plan has an annual management charge of 0.8% and enables customers to apply online without the need for evidence of earnings or certificates. There is a wide choice of funds available on the online offering.
This is the first tranche of a wider online stakeholder service package that the provider is introducing. When the system is fully operational by the end of the second quarter, policyholders will be able to view the value of their fund, alter contribution amounts, switch funds and track fund performance and contributions record.
The online offering already provides a tax-checking facility that enables customers to submit their tax return online and a will-making capability.
Meanwhile, e-commerce provider My Money Adviser is adding a plug-in service for advisers who have their own internet sites up and running. The instant e-commerce facilities service costs £200 per month.
The service allows advisers complete control over the functions and content they offer their clients, without having to ditch or revise their existing websites.
The e-commerce facilities range from stockbroking to a fund supermarket, life assurance and utility switching. All provide commission or introduction revenue streams direct to the adviser, without any additional workload.
l Dealing With Technology (DWT), the annual global trading and risk management forum, is to be held at the Brewery in London on 11 April 2002.
Anvil Software, Asset Control, Bloomberg, Caplin, CSK Software, e-portals, Financial Fusion, GovPX, Iris Financial, Kx Systems, Mighter Gissing Software, Moneyline Telerate, Research In Motion, Syntegra, Thomson Financial, Wall Street Systems, Wey Technology and ValueLink will all have exhibits at the conference.
Delegates attending include ABN Amro, Barclays Capital, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC, Merrill Lynch, London Stock Exchange and UBS Warburg.
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