It is rare that a government review occurs which advisers should embrace with both hands, but the latest report from the Office of Tax Simplification report about pensions taxation may well be one of them.
The OTS wants to see a review of the annual and lifetime allowances. It wants the Government to reconsider the Money Purchase Annual Allowance, to address the issues of net pay and auto-enrolment for the lower paid and to look at the interaction of child benefit and income tax.
All of these are very changes - many of which would clearly have the backing of advisers.
Interesting to see that it has also been covered extensively in Pulse, the journal for GPs.
Its report says: “One possibility would be for the annual allowance to apply in relation to direct contribution schemes and the lifetime allowance in relation to direct benefit schemes, reflecting the most natural operational and administrative fit between the two approaches and the type of scheme involved.”
The Treasury has turned down calls for the FCA to be given news powers which could see it strongly recommend the extension of its own regulatory perimeter.
The Treasury select committee had recommended two important changes – first that the FCA could ask for the perimeter to move with ministers required to implement the recommendations or reply promptly with their reasons for not doing so.
The second power was for the FCA to be able to ask for the ability to demand information from non-regulated entities as the Bank of England can with institutions thought to be sources of shadow banking. The second power on my reading did not require the agreement of ministers.
As I say, both have been turned down. It is quite possible to characterise this as simply the Treasury guarding its powers, but it shows how controversial the perimeter is proving.
Yet to see anyone surveying IFAs about where they stand. They must want these fly-by-night minibond providers dealt with, but is regulating them including with compensation scheme cover really the answer?
In Money Marketing consultant Graham Bentley argues that advice should increase wealth of the many, not preserve wealth of the few. I have some sympathy – at least with the second part of the headline. Worth a read. Few easy solutions though with the current regulations.
Money Marketing takes an extensive look at advisers and the protection market. The challenges do appear to remain the same. Some excellent graphs though.
The FOS has paid £2.4m in compensation to steelworkers, New Model Adviser reveals.
The board of Patient Capital is still considering sacking Neil Woodford but hasn’t consulted shareholders according to reports in the Telegraph. It would be quite a significant blow to Woodford Investment Management.