Neil Sharp, Partner at Pen Partnership goes back the future…..

22/10/14 Category: Comment

It must be political party conference season again… or maybe there is an election looming? How can we tell? Well, there is the array of unfortunate photos of party leaders on the front pages looking like competitors in some kind of ‘gurning’ competition, but there is also a lot of ‘news’ regarding Inheritance Tax (IHT). IHT is a political weapon that punches above its weight when it comes to creating headlines, but also in nudging the political agenda this way and that – I recall vividly when the £1m level was first floated back in 2007, it was enough to…
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Karen Gamble considers the future of auto-enrolment for group income protection

07/10/14 Comment

So what do we think about auto-enrolment for group income protection? Surveys are being conducted, think tanks are thinking and the specialist HR and benefits media have found another topic to write about. And of course, employers via trade organisations such as the CBI or local Chambers of Commerce will be saying NO, too soon after pensions and too expensive and not our role anyway!! But we really are only at the stage of raising this as a proposition. Let’s not get bogged down in issues of affordability, complexity, responsibility. The mere fact that is has been suggested at all…
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3D - More or less? Peter Barnett demonstrates that knowledge is power

by Peter Barnett 12/04/11 Comment


Peter Barnett demonstrates that knowledge is power – if used in the right way Recently I watched some of the Masters Golf on TV through 3D and in High Definition and it struck me that while we are getting a sharper clearer view of sporting events, it is often of less and less substance. However looking through rose coloured glasses is not exclusively confined to TV watchers.  We in financial services may be taking a very one eyed rosy view of our target market if we treat them as a homogeneous group with similar needs, aims and aspirations. This Coalition…
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Helen Tilley of Kennedy’s Law comments on the recent Gender Directive

by Helen Tilley 05/04/11 Comment

No apologies for raising the European Court of Justice ruling of early March in the Test-Achats case!  It created quite a stir within the industry and amongst customers. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the objective of the Gender Directive (2004/113/EC) in the context of insurance was to have unisex premiums and benefits.  The effect of the Test-Achats case is to ban the derogation in art. 5(2) of the EU Gender Directive from 21 December 2012.  Art. 5(2) had been sensible because, in broad terms, it permitted the UK to legislate so that gender could be taken into account when pricing…
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Stephen Walker says Consultant Fees Guidelines are a potential PR disaster for PMI

by Stephen Walker 29/03/11 Comment


Stephen Walker  suggests that “Consultant Fees Guidelines are a potential PR disaster for PMI” The PMI industry has, historically, always struggled to contain the cost of treatment in order to maintain affordable premiums.  Insurers claimed that there was a tendency for service providers (hospitals, consultants, anesthetists, etc.), to inflate their charges when an insurer was paying for a policyholder’s treatment.  This was always denied by the providers, despite evidence that this might actually be true. Over the last few years there has been a growing trend for the larger insurers to adopt a system of Consultant Fees Guidelines as a…
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