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Money++ Newsletter - Summer 2019

Posted: Jul 19, 2019

Can we look forward to escaping from all this?

To paraphrase a famous film line ‘It’s been a bumpy ride’. Far from knowing the way forward after the turbulent early months of the year, we are still in the kind of political limbo which can make forward planning seem a waste of precious time. Not everything, however, can be put on a back burner as life moves on. Especially when it comes to your finances.

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Balancing the school fees equation

Posted: Jul 09, 2019

School fees are rising faster than the rate of inflation, creating financial challenges for parents who want to educate their children privately.

Private school fees rose by 3.7% this year, according to the latest figures from the Independent Schools Council, with the average independent day school charging £14,289 a year in 2018. By contrast inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, was at 2.1% for April 2019.

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New headaches for landlords

Posted: Jul 09, 2019

Private landlords could find it harder to evict tenants in future, thanks to new government legislation.

Landlords will no longer be able to serve tenants with a 'section 21 notice', which effectively enables them to cancel the tenancy at the end of the term, without giving any formal reason. This is currently allowed in England and Wales, although the practice has already been outlawed in Scotland.

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How much is enough on pension contributions?

Posted: Jul 09, 2019

Pension contributions have recently risen for many people, but the increase may still not be enough to fund a comfortable retirement.

The latest round of pre-planned increases to minimum contribution rates under automatic enrolment (AE) workplace pensions came into effect in April. If you are one of the 10 million people who have been automatically enrolled, then broadly speaking, provided your yearly earnings are at least £10,000:

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Moving the 65-yard line

Posted: Jul 09, 2019

Sixty-five years old has long been considered a pivotal age. For example, the Office of National Statistics splits the labour market into two main categories: aged 16 to 64 and aged 65 and over. Some concessionary prices are based on having reached age 65, which is still widely thought of as the age when men receive their state pension.

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Pensions and divorce – not just about the split

Posted: Jul 09, 2019

When it comes to dividing up assets on divorce, pension rights can turn out to be one of the most valuable elements – and often the most overlooked.

Last October, the Financial Conduct Authority reported that employee benefit consultancies were recording “the average size of transfer at over £250,000”.  Such large values mean that pensions can currently represent the greatest asset to be considered as part of a divorce settlement.

In the UK, there are currently three main ways of dealing with pensions on divorce:

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Dividends riding high, but…

Posted: Jul 09, 2019

After enjoying bumper dividends earlier this year, shareholders faced the news that some high profile names have recently slashed their payouts.

UK-listed companies paid out £19.7 billion in the first three months of 2019 – a first quarter record according to Link Asset Services, with the value of dividends paid out through to 2018 rising by 85%. However, in May, Vodaphone, Royal Mail and M&S all announced dividend cuts of 40%.

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