Monday, 12 October 2009

Pensions - you can go your own way

I was at a Standard Life presentation today and one of the speakers noted that since Standard Life launched their Synergy platform in 2006, they now have over 1,200 Stocktade accounts containing an average of €45,000 each.

Stocktrade is Standard Life's chosen stockbroker for their self-directed pension contract. Using the Standard Life / Stocktrade platform, we can set up pension plans for clients allowing them to mix their fund between managed funds, cash deposits, direct property (which they choose) or shares, ETFs and bonds of their own choosing.

Interesting that Irish pension clients have chosen to entrust €54 million via Stocktrade into shares, ETFs and bonds of their own choosing. Far from being a niche product for the High Net Worth customer, self-directed pension funds are now coming into their own as something open to everyone - Personal Pensions and Buy Out Bonds included.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Claims - It could be you

For a bit of light reading, I was just reading over Irish Life's claims statistics for 2008. An insurance company's claim-paying record is hugely important.

In 2008 Irish Life paid out over €220 million in claims, broken down roughly as follows: -

• More than €134 million in life cover claims to over 2000 families
• More than €34 million in Specified Illness claims; and
• More than €52 million to over 3,000 Income Protection claimants

Considering that this is one company, albeit the largest in the country, these are sobering statistics. No doubt each claimant thought they would never need the cover when they took it out.