Personal Finance: spotlight on: Credit Suisse Managed Pension

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The Independent Online
The product: The Credit Suisse Managed Pension Portfolio.

The deal: Invest over pounds 100,000 and Credit Suisse will tailor, at the investor's behest, a personalised investment strategy for the pension fund. The product, a self-invested personal pension, is particularly aimed at those who want to put off buying an annuity while drawing some income from their fund, a facility known as "income drawdown".

Plus points: Charges are clean, transparent and reasonable: just a 1 per cent annual charge, reducing to 0.45 per cent on larger amounts. The only other fee is whatever the financial adviser wants for arranging it. Unusually, there are no extra charges for using income drawdown.

Winterthur Life is the biggest and most experienced provider of self- invested pensions on the market. This pension, one of the first fruits of the merger of Winterthur and Credit Suisse, allows unusual access to the Swiss bank, that favourite of the super-rich.

To use drawdown without losing money, high returns are required. This product allows investors at least a fighting chance of achieving them.

Drawbacks and risks: The product has a high minimum, so the chance to use a tailored investment strategy is only for those with big savings. Nick Bamford, an expert from Informed Choice, the specialist pensions adviser, points out that it cannot be used to start up a pension fund from scratch.

If investors do use income drawdown, there is still a substantial risk of losing money. Credit Suisse will have to keep up its good record of performance to make it worthwhile . If they don't, they can always be ditched.

Verdict: A valuable opportunity to tap the expertise of Credit Suisse (but only for some of us).

Marks out of five: Four.

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