The best and worst: Unit-Linked Personal Pensions

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The Independent Online
ANYBODY who took out a unit-linked personal pension that had any investment in property over the past five years would now be suffering from the catastrophic effects of the slump in the sector.

The pounds 50m property fund run by Merchant Investors Assurance has done particularly badly - over the past five years, investors would have lost money.

Merchant Investors was part of the MI Group, which used to sell life and pension policies through a hard-sell direct sales force.

Chris Jones, head of investments, said that most of the loss had been sustained because of joint property deals made with the MI Property Company, another group subsidiary, when the group was headed by Trevor Deaves.

Mr Jones said: 'We are in the process of restructuring the fund. We had to write off losses against the fund. We have largely cleared that out.' He said that nearly half its other funds were in the top quartile of performance.

Gregor Logan, MGM investment director, said: 'The special situations fund suffered from being heavily invested in small stocks during a recession which went on for far longer than everyone expected.'

Skandia Assurance farms the management of its clients' money out to other fund managers. Peter Jordan, pensions products marketing manager, said: 'We have been particularly pleased with fund performance from Perpetual.'

If one particular fund manager's performance begins to fall off, the personal pension policy-holder can switch to another with ease.

----------------------------------------------------------------- UNIT LINKED PERSONAL PENSIONS ----------------------------------------------------------------- The best pounds 1 Mercury - Far Eastern. . . . . . . . . . . . . 24,463 2 Providence Capitol - Hong Kong. . . . . . . . .24,371 3 Skandia - Perpetual Far East. . . . . . . . . .22,545 4 Skandia - Gartmore Far East. . . . . . . . . . 22,212 5 Skandia - Perpetual International. . . . . . . 21,225 The worst 580 MGM Property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11,565 581 Scottish Mutual Property. . . . . . . . . . .11,385 582 M&G Property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11,211 583 Merchant Investors Property. . . . . . . . . 11,006 584 MGM Special Situations. . . . . . . . . . . . 9,356 ----------------------------------------------------------------- The table shows the value of a pounds 200 per month pension invested over the five years to 1 July 1994. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Source: Money Management -----------------------------------------------------------------

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