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It’s the time of year when all good advisers will be talking to their clients about making the most of any unused allowances, and this will often include using the annual allowance (AA) for pension contributions. But are there times when the advice should actually be NOT to use it?
Experts have hailed the onset of a ban on pensions cold calling which came into force today.
A survey of 700 DIY investors has revealed a raft of concerns from pension tax relief to ISAs.
2018 has been a quiet year in the world of pensions - no seismic changes or hacking of allowances makes for welcome relief.
Platform and SIPP operator AJ Bell’s market capitalisation is will be “approximately £651m”, the company has revealed.

SIPP and platform operator AJ Bell is likely to be valued at between £626m and £675m when it floats on the stock market in December, the company predicts.

Platform and SIPP firm AJ Bell has confirmed plans for a float on the London Stock Exchange next month with the company valued at up to £500m.

Major shareholders Invesco Perpetual and chief executive Andy Bell will have an opportunity to sell down their stakes in the business while broadening the firm’s shareholder base.

Invesco currently has a 44 per cent stake which it is expected to sell down to around 25 per cent.

Mr Bell holds 28 per cent of the business and is expected to retain around a quarter.

AJ Bell says the float would enhance its brand, extend its shareholder group, assist in recruitment and incentivisation and help with its growth strategy.
Platform and SIPP firm AJ Bell has boosted its profits to more than £28m as its forthcoming IPO approaches.
Pension withdrawals continued to soar in the third quarter of 2018 leading to suggestions that some pensions savers are treating their pensions like bank accounts, dipping in to withdraw cash when they need it.

Platform and SIPP provider AJ Bell has called for annual platform charges to be disclosed in pounds and pence.

In its response to the FCA’s Platform Market Study interim report, AJ Bell says that reform of charges disclosure is important to allow greater scrutiny by investors.

The company wants:

  • Pounds and pence disclosure of annual platform charges
  • Regulatory guidance on bulk platform transfers
  • A lifting of the ban on cash rebates
  • Improved standards and transparency for model portfolio disclosures

Andy Bell, chief executive at AJ Bell, said: “The platform market has grown to a size and importance that merits greater scrutiny but equally it has delivered significant benefits to consumers in terms of lower charges and greater transparency that shouldn’t be derailed by unnecessary intervention. 

“In this respect, the interim report hit the right note in terms of highlighting the aspects of the market that need further debate.”

“The FCA is absolutely right to put value for money front and centre of the platform market study and sharpen the focus on revenue margin, expressed as the amount of revenue each platform makes in a year from each £ of assets under administration (AUA).”

He said that revenue per £ of AUA “cuts through” the complexity created by different platform charging structures.

He wants to see investors given the level of charges each platform levies per £ invested. 

This would be disclosed as £s of revenue per £100,000 of investment, rather than a basis points measure.

He said that based on the 2016 numbers from the interim report platform fees per £100,000 would range from £220 per year to £540. 

Mr Bell said he would also like to see platforms provide a calculator on their websites that showed customers the annual charges that potential and existing customers will pay, in pounds and pence. 

He also wants to see switching between platforms made easier.

In addition, he called for the lifting of the ban on cash rebates among other changes to simplify and streamline how platforms run and the charges they levy and to reduce complexity.

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