Seek advice on M&S scheme

PENSIONS

Savers tempted by the Marks & Spencer brand name when choosing a personal pension have been warned to take proper financial advice before making their decision.

Geoff Lister, chief executive at Bradford & Bingley Building Society, said yesterday: "Deciding on a personal pension is an extremely important step.

"It is not like walking into a shop and choosing a set of underwear or fresh fruit. Making the wrong choice can have very dangerous consequences in retirement. That is why it is always important to obtain unbiased independent advice first."

Mr Lister's comments followed an announcement by M&S that it is to move into the life insurance and pensions field next month.

From next month, the company plans to offer a range of financial products, including a pension that aims to protect investors from the worst effect of future stock market crashes.

The M&S pension, managed by Barclays de Zoete Wedd, will track the FT- SE 100 share index. The fund will benefit from any gains in the Footsie, except for dividend income that would normally accrue to the shares concerned.

Instead, this will be used to buy options, to help protect against market falls.

Marks & Spencer's launch is an ambitious plan to link its reputation for quality and trustworthiness to the sale of life insurance and pensions.

Robert Colvill, managing director of Marks & Spencer Financial Services, said: "We cannot offer an absolute guarantee, but we can protect against the risk of a more serious market fall happening, such as the October 1987 crash."

In addition to pensions, the company will offer a range of financial products by mail order, including critical illness and family protection plans.

Potential buyers will be able to pick up product brochures from any of the company's stores and call a freephone number linking them to an admin centre in Chester. Trained staff will answer any technical query over the phone but will not actually push these products to clients. They will be sold on an execution-only basis.

If clients buy an M&S pension or another product, the company says it will give them a 30-day money-back guarantee period, more than double the time normally offered by other firms.

M&S is clearly aiming to capitalise on its name and reputation - and relative aversion to risk of the millions of customers who already shop in its stores.

Keith Oates, chairman of Marks & Spencer's financial services arm, said: "Our aim in designing these products has been to provide life assurance and pensions plans which reflect the M&S traditions of quality, value and service. We will be promoting them with the simplicity and clarity we know our customers are looking for."

The pension scheme's charges include a bid-offer spread of 5 per cent, a £1.20 monthly policy fee and a 0.75 per cent annual management fee.

The link between a strong brand name and the offer of new financial products is not new to M&S. It has 3.4 million charge accounts, while 350,000 customers have borrowed almost £900m in personal loans.

For further information call 0800 363422.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Web developer (C#, MVC4, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, Jquery)

    £30000 - £44000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Web deve...

    Senior Automation QA Engineer (Java, Selenium WebDriver, Agile)

    £40000 - £65000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Senior A...

    Web developer (C#.NET, ASP.NET, MVC3/4, HTML5, CSS3, JAVASCRIPT

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Web deve...

    ETL Developer (SQL, C#, VBA, Finance, Risk, Hybrid, RDBMS, Jas

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: ETL Deve...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment