Is your family financially protected?

Posted: Jan 09, 2017

Reviewing life insurance provision is arguably even more important than making sure you are financially prepared for retirement or that your investments are in good order.  The reason is simply that an early death robs a person of the time needed to achieve their financial goals.  It is one thing to plan for retirement in, say 15 years, or build up a capital sum over five to ten years.  It is quite another to make sure your loved ones are provided for in the way you would want knowing that the date of your death could be anytime from today onwards.

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What is a £5,000 a year pension worth?

Posted: Jan 09, 2017

One of the answers to that £5,000 question – and there are many – is “a transfer value of 30 times the pension, in other words - £150,000”.  

If you’re surprised, then you are not alone. Two years ago such a transfer value figure would have been virtually unbelievable. Back in 2014, a multiplier of around 20:1 was common, making £5,000 a final salary pension worth around £100,000 if you were to transfer close to retirement. So why the big increase in values?

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Two wrongs and a right – tax evasion, avoidance and planning

Posted: Jan 09, 2017

As Theresa May announced in her final speech to October’s Conservative Party Conference:

“So it doesn’t matter to me who you are. If you’re a tax-dodger, we’re coming after you. If you’re an accountant, a financial adviser or a middleman who helps people to avoid what they owe to society, we’re coming after you too.

An economy that works for everyone is one where everyone plays by the same rules. So whoever you are you – however rich or powerful – you have a duty to pay your tax. And we’re going to make sure you do.”

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How to avoid a tax charge after April's Pension Lifetime Allowance cut

Posted: Jan 06, 2016

The Government has published draft details of the protection regime that will apply after the lifetime allowance (LTA) is cut in April. Chancellor George Osborne announced the cut, which will see the LTA reduce from £1.25 to £1m, in the 2015 Budget. 

The Government's draft finance bill, published in December, provides information on how savers who have already built up pensions worth more than £1m can avoid a tax charge. 

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Time for an ISA review?

Posted: Jan 09, 2017

Investors placed over £73 in the cash component for every £100 they subscribed to ISAs, according to recent HMRC statistics for the tax year 2015/16. Overall, about half of all ISAs by value were held in the cash component. However, near zero interest rates mean the tax savings from cash ISAs are correspondingly small. With the advent of the personal savings allowance in this tax year, you may not even need an ISA to receive tax free interest. The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances. Tax laws can change.

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How much are you prepared to risk?

Posted: Sep 19, 2016

The outcome of the EU referendum was a reminder that risk comes in many forms, including political risk. Following the decision to leave the institution that has been a core part of our economic and political lives in one form or another for 43 years. We have also seen a change of Prime Minister in mid-term and a vote of no confidence in the leader of the main opposition party. On a national level, that's a lot of risk.

 

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Beware the Autumn Statement

Posted: Sep 19, 2016

This year's Autumn Statement will be the Treasury's first post-Brexit set piece. It will not be an easy exercise.

 

Before the referendum, the then Chancellor George Osborne warned that a Leave vote would be followed by an emergency Budget with £30bn of tax increases and spending cuts. After he found himself on the losing side, Mr Osborne abandoned not only his Budget plans but also his target to end fresh government borrowing by 2020.

 

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