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Too generous by half?

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

Generous grandparents are increasingly supporting younger family members, so intergenerational gifting should take potential benefits, and pitfalls, into account.

A third of millennial homeowners received financial help from their grandparents, with an average gifted sum of £7,400, according to a survey from mortgage brokers Trussle.

Meanwhile, research by equity release provider Key found that 15% of grandparents had contributed towards their grandchildren’s higher education, with another 20% planning to over the next decade.

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Budget 2020 – a Budget for strange days

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

The first Budget of 2020 may be the most unusual for years.

The UK survived 2019 without a Budget. Finally, on 11 March the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, presented a postponed Budget, the first of two due this year. This proved to be primarily an emergency Budget, focused on a “temporary, timely and targeted” response to the global economic shock from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Shifts in the savings landscape

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

Government incentives to save – like ISAs – are valuable, but recent changes present new opportunities while removing some old ones.

If you are aiming to buy your first home, investing in a Lifetime ISA (or LISA) could help. The recent withdrawal of the Help to Buy ISA means that the LISA is now the only tax-incentivised savings plan for first-time buyers. Existing Help to buy ISA holders can still contribute until November 2029.

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Lessons from five years of pension flexibility

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

It’s been five years since people in retirement were given the freedom to draw directly from pension savings.

The reforms, introduced back in April 2015, gave certain defined contribution pension holders “complete freedom to draw down as much or as little of their pension pot as they want, anytime they want,” according to the Chancellor of the time.

We can now draw some conclusions from experiences in both the UK and countries like the US and Australia who have had similar rules for longer, and derive some lessons for the future.

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A new world – the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted: Mar 31, 2020

The spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus has changed the outlook for everyone and stymied the world economy.

The Budget on 11 March was overshadowed by the mounting impact of the virus. The Chancellor has already announced two rounds of measures to support the UK economy in addition to the Budget. Together they dwarf the £12 billion expenditure promised in the Budget. The running figure (as at 20 March) now totals over £60 billion, with a further £330 billion of loan guarantees for businesses, large and small. Mr Sunak’s actions include:

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Covid-19 measures: March 2020

Posted: Mar 24, 2020

The 11th March Budget from the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, included £7 billion of expenditure targeting the impact of Covid-19 on employees, the self-employed and businesses. On 17th March a further raft of measures was announced, amounting to an additional £20 billion of support expenditure plus £330 billion of loan guarantees. By 20th March another round of support was announced of such size that no price tag was attached.

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Budget Summary 2020

Posted: Mar 12, 2020

The newly appointed Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a spirited Budget with a repeated emphasis on ‘getting things done’, echoing the recent election campaign.

His initial focus was on the short-term measures needed to deal with the challenges the UK faces as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. These amounted to a £12bn fiscal stimulus, with more available if required. There was help for both businesses and individuals.

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Last call for 2016/17 on your annual allowance…

Posted: Mar 02, 2020

The clock is ticking on using up your pension annual allowance

The allowance effectively sets the maximum pension contributions from all sources (including your employer) on which you may be able to claim income tax relief. In recent times it has been the subject of much controversy because of the way the allowance is tapered from the ‘standard’ £40,000 to as little as £10,000 for high earners.

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