AXA's North Super 'on hold'

Ratings house Standard & Poor's has placed the North Personal Superannuation, Pension and Investments Plan 'on hold' in the wake of AXA Asia Pacific announcing an increase in annual fees for new investors in the Protected Growth guarantee effective from February 28.

The ratings house said it had been advised that the increase in fees was attributable to an increase in the costs incurred by the manager in providing the capital guarantee.

"The rise in costs has been caused by the significant fall in interest rates since the launch of the North product in 2007," it said. "The decrease in interest rates will cause management costs to increase for new customers."

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It noted, however, that the increase would only apply to new investors and would not apply to the Protect Investment guarantee product choice.

Commenting on the move, S&P analyst Rodney Ley said the ratings house would be reviewing the implications of the increase in fees on the product, and would issue a revised report when the review was completed.

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