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Pensions Posts

Thursday June 12, 2014 at 10:00am
Pensions are a tool for retirement, right? Well yes, they certainly are that but I think they are so much more than that. With the proposed changes announced in the 2014 budget allowing pension savers to access all of their pension savings from age 55 I see real opportunities to use a pension as a savings plan.Let’s say you are just 50 and are looking for a tax efficient way to save money to repay your mortgage. Let’s assume that, like most of our clients, you are a higher rate tax p....
Thursday June 5, 2014 at 10:00am
“You have earned it, you have saved it, this government is on your side”, so said George Osborne in his March 2014 Budget. And this time he wasn’t just talking to a small minority of people as 13 million members of defined contribution pension schemes will be affected. That is anyone with a non final salary pension.He was referring to the proposed change in 2015 to allow individuals to withdraw as much as they like, without limit from their pension. You will still need to be ov....
Thursday May 8, 2014 at 10:00am
The surprise announcement in April’s Budget was the significant change to pensions. Heralded as the most far reaching change in pensions for 90 years, the Chancellor announced that from 2015, pensioners will be able to take as much or as little from their pension as they want, removing the need to buy an annuity. Does this move really make pension saving more attractive? We think so.When a high rate tax payer can turn £10,000 into £16,667 simply by putting the money into a pens....
Friday April 4, 2014 at 12:23pm
Changes announced in the budget mean you could turn a £10,000 investment into £18,333 simply by using tax efficient pension investments. Let me explain.It used to be that you invested in a pension during your working life and then bought an income for life in the form of an annuity. There are two problems with annuities; firstly they work by the people who live longest being subsidised by those who die earliest. Many see this as grossly unfair, in effect a stranger is benefiting from....
Tuesday January 28, 2014 at 10:00am
The majority of people I speak to do seem to acknowledge that they need to save for their retirement. Their commitment to doing so, however, is less certain.The Government recognises that many people need ‘encouragement’ to invest in a pension. Hence the advent of Pensions Auto Enrolment, being rolled out across the country over the next few years. Although pension Auto Enrolment will increase the number of people who have a pension the general belief is that those pensions will be n....
Thursday January 9, 2014 at 10:00am
You may be wondering what Auto Enrolment is all about and even why the government is bothering with it. The scheme being introduced between 2012 and 2016 makes it compulsory for employers and employees to contribute to employees’ pension funds unless the employee opts out. Most smaller companies will not be affected by the changes until 2016 but it is important for all of us to understand why this is a big issue.Why company final salary schemes are closingMany private sector employers ran ....
Thursday September 26, 2013 at 10:00am
According to research published in the FT 77% of people in their 50s and 60s didn’t know what their pension fund was invested in. Worst still 71% had no idea how their pension was performing.I find these results staggering. As a Chartered Financial Planner I consider it my job to make sure my clients have at least an annual review to look at how their investments, and especially their pensions, are performing and whether changes need to be made in the mix of investments, the investment veh....
Thursday June 13, 2013 at 10:00am
In the UK today whilst life expectancy is on the increase it seems fewer people are saving for their retirement. To try and meet this challenge, the Pensions Act 2008 laid the foundations for a fundamental reform of workplace pensions requiring every employer to automatically enrol their workers into a qualifying pension scheme, if they are not already in one, and contribute to that pension. Under the scheme by 2017 all employers will have to offer a workplace pension or a NEST (National Employm....
Thursday January 17, 2013 at 9:00am
It’s certainly been a busy news week for pensions, with proposed changes that are likely to see some winners and losers. If you haven’t already got a handle on how you’re going to provide for your old age - and even if you think you have – recent news about pensions means it is well worth your having a review with your independent financial advisor in the near future to check everything is on track.One bit of news last week provided a sigh of relief. Thankfully after a th....
Thursday December 13, 2012 at 9:00am
You could hardly have missed the widespread news last week as Chancellor George Osborne unveiled his 2012 Autumn Statement, setting out the coalition's financial plans until 2017/18. As we’d all been led to expect, it was pretty depressing news on the economy which seems to be stubbornly resistant to staying on the road to recovery. Estimates for Britain's economic growth have dropped sharply. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now expects our economy to shrink by 0.1% this year, i....
Thursday November 15, 2012 at 9:00am
Some news last week will be of particular interest to anyone already with a personal pension or thinking about one.Pensions regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced it wants to move to inflation-adjusted illustrations for personal or stakeholder pension schemes and is currently consulting on its plans with a target start date of April 2014. What does this mean? Effectively it will ensure that the effect of inflation is taken into account when forecasting pension performance and....
Thursday October 11, 2012 at 9:00am
Everyone needs to finance their retirement and, despite some of the bad press over recent years, personal pensions are still by far the most tax-efficient way of saving for old age. It was quite encouraging to see in recently released data from the Office for National Statistics that, although the number of people in workplace pension schemes has stagnated between 2010 and 2011, contribution rates have risen slightly. But it was worrying that a recent survey by the Prudential showed owners of sm....
Thursday August 30, 2012 at 9:00am
Bank holiday weekends are known to see a rise in A&E admissions through DIY mishaps. And the long weekend in August got me thinking about the so-called DIY pension or Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). SIPPs are appealing to investors due to their flexibility but fees can be higher. However, research published in August (2 in 3 DIY pensions left to fail) suggested a number of people managing their own personal pension don’t have the expertise, understanding of market risks or ....
Thursday August 16, 2012 at 10:00am
Andy Parker was invited to contribute to a new book being produced by the Institute of Directors, to be published later in 2012. Here’s a sneak preview of his Chapter focusing on directors’ pensions, exploring the full value of pensions investments for directors and owner managers.For owners and directors of small businesses a pension may seem like a luxury impossible to afford. Company owners often overlook the significant benefits available through Small Self-Administered Schemes (....
Thursday August 2, 2012 at 10:00am
Andy Parker was invited to contribute to a new book being produced by the Institute of Directors, to be published later in 2012. Here’s a sneak preview of his Chapter focusing on the importance of taking a proactive approach to your pension investment strategy.Given the turbulence in UK and international markets over the past 10 years you’d be forgiven for being cynical about investment, Stock Market returns and the advice you might be given on your pension investment strategy. Cynic....
Thursday May 17, 2012 at 9:00am
When Paul McCartney sang “When I’m 64” at the height of Beatlemania in the 1960s he couldn’t possibly have imagined what life had in-store for him at 64. What about you? Have you thought about what’s in store for you once you reach retirement age? Whether you approach retirement with trepidation or with a big sigh, glad to leave working life behind and do the things you’ve always dreamt of, will largely depend on how much planning you’ve done a....
Thursday March 15, 2012 at 8:55am
How many times have you said, “When I win the lottery I’ll ….” Everyone says it. We’ve all had our favourite fantasy where we scoop the jackpot and dream of how we’ll spend it. Strangely, nobody ever says, “When I get my tax-free cash lump sum from my pension, I’ll …”. Yet this is much more likely and achievable than waiting in the lottery winners queue. So to get the ball rolling, we thought we’d help you on your way to fulfill....
Friday February 3, 2012 at 11:52am
If you come into money from an inheritance, bonus or even a lottery win, your thoughts may immediately turn to paying off your mortgage. Although we live in a society where debt is commonplace and accepted, many people want to pay off their home loans at the earliest opportunity. After all, a home without a mortgage is financially secure.But think twice. Instead of clearing or reducing your mortgage, consider your future. In particular, think about your pension provision. Inadequate pension You ....
Thursday March 17, 2011 at 10:00am
There’s nothing worse than having to wait to feel any tax saving benefits. Few business owners perhaps realise that the timing of their company’s year-end and its pension contributions can affect when the benefit of any tax saving is felt.Pension contributions and company year-end statistics from Companies House show that the most popular company year-end is 31st March. And with that date fast approaching now is the time companies should be considering company pension contributions, ....
Thursday March 3, 2011 at 10:00am
As the tax year end approaches now is an ideal time to review your tax and financial planning requirements. High earners in particular could save a considerable amount of money by implementing some tax planning ideas before 5th April this year. With the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) carrying out a review into all tax reliefs, allowances and exemptions, and identifying reliefs, you may want to consider making sure any tax planning is executed before the 23rd March 2011 Budget, which will tak....
Friday February 18, 2011 at 10:00am
The new rules applying from 6 April are now known, with flexibility being the name of the game. Annuity rates are very low at present, with no signs of that changing, and the new rules will allow you to draw income from your pension fund without having to buy an annuity. If you have a secured pension income of at least £20,000 a year you will even be able to access 100% of your pension fund if you wish (with an income tax charge on it of course) and the options in your particular circumsta....
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