Your pensions and investments are turning fund managers and marketing men in to millionaires. More than £20 billion of savings and investments are snatched from pensions, unit trusts, endowments and other products every year in charges, according to Money Mail analysis.

Mis Sold Investments & Financial products

Typical funds levy a total annual charge of just under 1.7 per cent, but some are twice this. Pensions – particularly older contracts – can be even more expensive, with some savers seeing their first year’s contributions disappear in charges.

Analysis for the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts by David Pitt-Watson found that the cost of some plans from High Street names such as HSBC, Legal & General and Scottish Widows amounted to more than £200,000 over 40 years for someone saving £200 a month.

And, according to our own analysis, someone who saves a total of £3,000 a year for 30 years into pensions or Isas would build a savings pot of £419,000 if the funds grew by 6 per cent a year and if there were no charges. But with a typical 1.68 per cent annual charge, that pot would be reduced to £269,341 – a loss of nearly £150,000.

Since last October, we have campaigned for an end to these hidden charges.

Instead of feathering your own nest, this money is lining the pockets of a long list of City workers – from salesmen to investment analysts – no matter how poorly they are running your money.

Here, we reveal the people getting rich from your money.

THE FUND MANAGER

Their so-called expertise is the primary reason you pay through the nose for investment funds. Unfortunately, more than two-thirds of them regularly fail to beat the stock market.

A junior manager with up to eight years’ experience can expect a salary of up to £100,000 and to double this with a bonus, according to the Michael Page Financial Services Survey 2010.

And top fund managers can expect to pick up £2 million or more in salary and bonuses in a year. Some even take performance fees for doing well, yet won’t refund investors if the fund performs appallingly.

THE ANALYSTS INVESTMENT

Analysts are the boffins who research companies and come up with recommendations about which firms fund managers should invest in.

An analyst with ten years’ experience can expect to earn between £110,000 and £130,000, plus a bonus of 100 per cent or more of their salary.

THE SALESMEN

Salesmen typically earn commission for selling the fund, as well as annual ‘trail’ commission for ongoing advice – even if they don’t provide any. Normally this doesn’t come directly out of your investment, but is included in the fund’s higher annual charges. But it can come directly out of your savings .

Those switching their pension can see up to 10 per cent of their nest egg pocketed in commission payments or three-quarters of their first year’s contributions. A typical financial adviser will earn between £70,000 and £100,000 a year in salary and bonuses.

THE MARKETING MEN

Otherwise known as sales or relationship managers, their job is to market these funds to retail and institutional customers and schmooze with clients.Experienced managers can earn up to £120,000, plus a 100 per cent bonus.

PRIVATE BANKERS

Customers with plenty of money sitting in their account will typically be offered their own private banker. Their job is to tend to your every need – which normally means trying to persuade you to put your money in their funds.

Private bankers with ten or more years’ experience can earn between £80,000 and £120,000 and double that in bonuses.

PRIVATE CLIENT PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

Despite the fancy title, they are often little more than glorified salesmen whose job it is to get you to invest your money in the bank’s range of expensive funds.They enjoy salaries of up to £100,000, plus the same again in bonuses.

CASE STUDY:

David Hollowell, 60, has seen his pension ravaged by hidden charges and appalling investment performance. He saved around £40 a month into a pension with Abbey Life for almost 30 years before finally giving up last year.

Mr Hollowell was bewildered to discover just how much he was paying in charges. These included a 5 per cent charge on each contribution, an annual charge of 0.75 per cent of his pension pot, a ‘capital unit’ charge of 6 per cent per year and an extra ‘policy’ charge of around 5 per cent per year on contributions of less than £105 per month.

When he took out the policy he was told his pension would be worth as much as £52,200 and that he could take home an annual income of up to £4,330 after taking £14,100 worth of tax-free cash.

Having paid in just under £10,000, his pension pot is worth £26,231. His adviser, comparemypension.com, managed to secure him an annuity of £1,331 a year – 25 per cent more than Abbey Life offered.

But not before German-owned Abbey Life took another 2.5 per cent of his nest egg for finding another deal. Mr Hollowell says: ‘Had I known so much was being pocketed by all these people, I wouldn’t have bothered.’


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Tim Capper reports on Financial Mis-Selling for Maple Leaf Financial. Our aim is to ensure you get honest advice and proper guidance to ensure a suitable recommendation can be made to pursue a financial claim

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Tim Capper

Bringing you financial news and information in plain english for Maple Leaf Financial. My aim is to help readers understand these often complex financial instruments.