Hidden pension costs revealed - could property as a pension be the answer?
25-Sep-2012 | Maidenhead | General Article (Non-News)
Maidenhead, Berkshire ( Newsbox ) September 24, 2012 - The Royal Society for Arts (RSA) has reported that the cost of investment for private pension holders is much more than they believe it to be, and firms are accused of hiding some of the costs that they levy on individuals' investment funds.
"The Royal Society for Arts (RSA) has reported that the cost of investment for private pension holders is much more than they believe it to be, and firms are accused of hiding some of the costs that they levy on individuals' investment funds" [Pre-Approved Quote]
The report found that over 90% of firms studied failed to disclose investment costs, leaving customers unaware that their pension fund was being used to cover charges.
When the RSA investigated pension firms, they all noted that their customers' had an annual charge to cover additional fees such as administration, legal and accountancy services. Two firms of those questions admitted that there would be other fees associated with bond and share trading, adding as much as 1.4% to the annual costs charged to customers bringing the total to around 3.1% per annum.
The RSA concluded that "those selling pensions fail to reveal what is charged for such items as audit and custodial costs, and other hidden costs including taxes, stock lending fees and broking commissions".
Gill Alton runs Alton Property Partners, offering a residential investment property service to help you build a portfolio for a secure financial future. She says:
"Having understood in this report that for Retail funds there is a Gold Standard of Charges Disclosure, which is mandated Under the EU Rules, it would be good to understand exactly what that covers. However, these rules are certainly not easy to find so as a pension saver you are unable to do you own quick check that your provider is covering all the costs off with you.
"The requirement to understand all the costs you are incurring is highlighted tremendously with the following comment from the Report from the Royal Society for Arts (RSA) which states 'the enormous impact of fees, where an extra 2% annual charge can, over the lifetime of a pension, result in a halving of pension benefit'.
"Pensions are already been hit tremendously with the fluctuations of the Stock Market and declining values from Annuities, so these hidden fees which cover costs such as the Stamp duty on shares purchase, or the stock broking fees etc simply further diminish the final pot of money that the saver has with which to purchase their Pension, so the projected outlooks can be highly misleading. Another reason for investors to look for alternative investment strategies such as property as a pension."
Notes to Editors
Gill Alton is the founder of Alton Property Partners, which provides a comprehensive and personal Property Portfolio Building Service for buy to let investment in the UK. To find out how property could be the answer to your pension worries, click here. Alton Property Partners manage the entire investment process, from sourcing property at a discounted value, co-ordinating the Mortgage, arranging the refurbishment, right through to ensuring it is ready for the rental market
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