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Advisers split on QROPS

Advisers are split as to whether or not pension busting/mis-selling is a problem for QROPS.

Advisers split on QROPS

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An International Adviser reader poll found, while a slight majority (51%) of advisers believe the offshore pension product does not face these problems, 49% of advisers do believe pension busting or mis-selling are serious concerns.

The pension transfer product and its cousin QNUPS have become contentious issues for both providers and advisers in recent months and the results of the poll demonstrate a clear need for a greater level of education and awareness on both sides about the risks, benefits and use of such products.

Compounding tensions around the issues are concerns over companies such as Windsor Pensions, which are using schemes based in jurisdictions such as Latvia in what could be construed as attempts to ‘pension bust’ for clients, as reported by International Adviser in April.

Similar issues have also arisen over the past few years for schemes based in Singapore, which lost its QROPS status, and New Zealand, which apparently laid to rest concerns over its schemes earlier this year.

However, Keith Boniface, of Brooklands Pensions, said the real worry faced by the industry is advisers being fed misinformation from providers on products – not necessarily mis-selling.

“…much more insidious is the mis-selling caused by providers who are not UK pension experts (and a few of them are) propagating false ‘facts’ to advisers,” said Boniface.

“Recent examples of this mis-information is the attacking of New Zealand based QROPS and of QNUPS by companies who don’t offer these products and hence have a commercial interest in attacking them.

“The result is that many IFAs believe this mis-information and hence don’t offer their clients the contract that best suits their needs. It is very difficult for IFAs and international advisers when they can’t rely on information to be correct.”

To view results of the poll click here.

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