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Standard Life drops drawdown charges as it prepares for pensions freedom


Standard Life is removing the charges currently applied to its flexible drawdown product as it prepares for pension freedom.

From April the one off set up charge of GBP208 and a one off early depletion charge of GBP312 will be removed, allowing advisers to efficiently access the full flexibilities through either Wrap or their standalone SIPP product. This reflects the streamlining of our processes for set up and the removal of the need to capture the minimum income requirement.

David Tiller, Standard Life Head of Adviser Platform Propositions, says: “Standard Life is fully prepared for the new pensions freedoms.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard to make sure we can deal with additional demand to access drawdown. We’ve a unique understanding of the demands of advisers and drawdown customers based on more than ten years’ experience of managing SIPP investments and supporting more clients in drawdown than any other provider. From the feedback we’ve received we know that it’s the fundamentals that matter; such as the reliability of income payments, the speed at which we can pay withdrawals on the day the client chooses and the quality of reporting to advisers and clients. It’s not just about providing access, it’s about providing a great service that can be relied on.

“The impact of the pension freedoms goes well beyond provider and adviser operational readiness. This legislation will transform the UK long-term savings market. Instead of being seen as inaccessible and opaque, pensions are about to become consumers’ long-term savings vehicle of choice. Our role is to make it easy for advisers to access the flexibility, which is why we’ve decided to drop these additional drawdown charges.”

The Standard Life Wrap proposition is also being developed to support advisers to deliver their own specialist ‘in retirement’ service. The recent launch of Discretionary Plus is one element – further enhancements to come include drawdown reporting and investment hub multi-portfolio capability. 

Tiller adds: “We know advisory businesses understand the opportunity arising from the new pension freedoms, but, at the same time, are concerned about increasing their capacity to deliver retirement advice while managing the obvious risks for clients living off their portfolios on a day-to-day basis.  Platform technology has a clear role to play in providing an efficient and consistent way to facilitate the level of advice these clients need.”

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