VSJ – October 2001 – Members’ News

Mike Ryan, the Director General, writes about a deal the Institution has closed with Halifax Equitable to provide IAP members and their families with a new Stakeholder Pension on exceptional terms.

You may remember that I wrote in March about the unfortunate circumstances that had overtaken the Equitable Life Assurance Company. Despite its many qualities, Britain’s oldest pension provider had been forced to close to new business, and could no longer offer pensions to IAP members.

The good news is that Equitable has now been absorbed into the Halifax group. Halifax Equitable marries the efficient administration and sales organisation of the old Equitable Life with the renowned investment skills of Clerical Medical, backing both with the strength of the Halifax Group. Over 60% of the top 500 UK companies already have pension arrangements with Halifax. The Group has over £110-billion of funds under management. Nothing is certain of course, but if any pension provider has the potential to give IAP members a good deal, surely this must be it.

The government and is making it compulsory for all but the smallest employers to offer stakeholder pensions. The IAP does not employ its members of course, but we have been able to take advantage of this legislation to offer our members stakeholder pensions on terms they are unlikely to match elsewhere. The IAP scheme is open to members, their families, and anyone else who has a meaningful association with the Institution. Even if you are already in a scheme run by your employer, your wife can still have IAP pensions. So can your children. There is no minimum contribution, and compound interest can do amazing things over time.

A key feature of the stakeholder pension is that the annual charge for administration must not exceed 1% of the fund value. With the IAP scheme, the charge starts at only 0.75%. Better still, as the total paid into the scheme increases, this percentage will fall, ultimately to 0.60%. So as charges fall, each individual will benefit from the contributions made by all the other members. Although fractions of a percent may not look much, they are levied every year on the total of each person’s fund, so it makes more difference as the fund builds up. You could soon be saving enough to pay your IAP sub!

Members who might be interested in setting up IAP stakeholder schemes for themselves or their families should, in the first instance, either call the Institution office or complete the simple form on our website. We pass this basic information on to Halifax Equitable, at the same time confirming your status as a current IAP member. Then someone from the company will contact you directly.

Robin Jones explains our scheme to help IT students with their work placement needs.

Most university students will be going back to college this month. But many, especially in the various IT disciplines, will be spending the year, their third, in a company, practising the skills they’ve spent two years learning. This kind of four-year sandwich course has become more and more popular in the last few years. It’s certainly a format that the IAP approves of and would like to encourage, for obvious reasons. ‘Real world’ experience prior to graduation is invaluable. Of course, the more popular it is, the more difficult it can be for students to find appropriate work placements, with too many of them chasing too few opportunities. That’s where we (and you) come in. Student members of the IAP can email me (eo@iap.org.uk) with the necessary details – their CVs, when and where they are looking for placements and so on. I will then put brief details on these pages. Members who feel they may be able to offer an applicant a placement can let me know and I’ll put them in touch with each other. I also maintain a list of companies who are prepared to offer placements regularly, so if you’re interested in adding to it, let me know.

Don’t forget to email eo@iap.org.uk with items of news about you or your company.

Comments are closed.