Winterthur Life have announced they will not only be keeping open their Executive Pension Plan (EPP) after A-Day, they will also be acting as scheme administrator.
Unlike other insurers who have decided to either close their EPP offering, like Standard Life, or have chosen not to act as administrator for the scheme, as Scottish Equitable have done, Winterthur has decided to keep their proposition open because they believe an EPP still has advantages over a personal pension, such as immediate higher rate tax relief.
Along with the EPP, Winterthur will also be keeping open their Self-Invested Executive Pension Plan (SI EPP), to allow members a degree of self-investment, which it says is a cheaper alternative to a Small Self Administered Scheme (SSAS) if full self investment is not required.
It says membership of an EPP usually consists of directors of small companies, and as it has individual sets of Trust Deed and Rules allowing individual Trustees to be appointed, which are usually the directors, the members effectively run the scheme, providing a comfort factor for those who dislike the idea of an insurance company or provider having control of their pension assets.
Winterthur point out another benefit to an EPP is as each scheme has its own rules, the employer can tailor the scheme to meet its own requirements, unlike a master trust arrangement with a personal pension.
The company is writing to IFAs to inform them of their decision and asking them to appoint Winterthur as the scheme practitioner so it can carry on with the extra administration duties after A-Day such as reporting to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and paying any tax charges.
At the same time, Winterthur also unveiled the rest of it’s a-Day product range including the Winterthur Life Personal pension, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), a Trustee Investment Plan, where scheme trustees from SSASs and SIPPs can use their powers to invest in other companies through investment trust vehicles, and a Section 32 plan.
In addition, Winterthur is planning to offer income withdrawal, to make use of all the flexibility possible under Unsecured Pension (USP) and Alternatively Secured Pension (ASP), including zero income, with USP and ASP available on both new and existing products.
The company will also make flexible adviser remuneration available monthly, half yearly or annually from a clients account, to make the payment relationship more transparent and just between the adviser and the client with the provider not being involved.
And an integrated adviser extranet willl be created by drawing together existing stand-alone services and tools together with extra features and functions, including detailed product and portfolio analysis for Winterthur products, as well as being able to add and analyse third party products and assets.
David Thompson, distribution director for Winterthur Life UK, says following the new A-Day changes, it has updated its range of A-Day compliant individual products.
He adds: “Within what will be an extremely cluttered marketplace Winterthur is differentiating itself around three core elements; a relevant pension product range incorporated into a simple and transparent charging structure with no commission built into product, a fund platform which is hand-picked and rigorously monitored and a cutting edge online services proposition.”
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Nyree Stewart on 020 7968 4558 or email [email protected]IFAonline
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