Pension savers to get £1,000 to spend on advice

Posted: Apr 21, 2016

The chancellor outlined two initiatives in the March 2016 budget that acknowledge the far-reaching pension reforms, which he originally announced in 2014. With more freedom than ever to use cash from their retirement funds, the government's thinking is that people have a greater need than ever for professional financial advice. If your employer arranges pension advice, you can will be able to claim tax relief up to £500 from April 2017. Currently the allowance is £150.

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Pensions Regulator 22,900 : Swindon Town 0

Posted: Jun 24, 2016

The potential costs to a business of not complying with the rules for automatic enrolment were recently highlighted in press reports about Swindon Town football club. In the words of The Pensions Regulator, the club repeatedly failed to comply with its automatic enrolment duties, and was ultimately fined £22,900. If your business is yet to start auto-enrolment, you need to begin preparation early to avoid incurring penalties. Occupational pension schemes are regulated by The Pensions Regulator.

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Does pension beat property?

Posted: Jan 09, 2017

Andy Haldane grabbed a few headlines recently when in an interview with the Sunday Times he suggested his favoured investment for retirement savings was residential property. It is a view many people with a less profound understanding of economics would share, as evidenced by the popularity of buy-to-let property as an investment. Mr Haldane’s main justification for choosing property was that in the UK demand has consistently outstripped supply, which to an economist means prices can react only one way – “relentlessly heading north”. 

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Estate Planning with your Pension

Posted: Apr 10, 2017

It may sound strange, but your pension could be the last thing you should draw on in retirement.

Over the last five tax years the amount paid in inheritance tax (IHT), nearly all of which is collected on death, has risen by over 70%. However, there is one area where the IHT rules have become noticeably more favourable pensions.

A range of reforms has made defined contribution (money purchase) pensions, such as personal pensions, a valuable tool in estate planning. The broad rules are now:

• Pension death benefits are generally free of IHT. 

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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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Auto-enrolment fines rise, don't be caught out

Posted: Feb 19, 2016

As auto-enrolment into workplace pensions enters its fourth year, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) has started to hand out more reprimands and fines. In the third quarter of 2015, TPR issued more unpaid contribution notices than it had sent out over the whole of the previous 33 months and more than 100-400 fixed penalty notices for employer non-compliance.

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Financial planning: get ready for 2016

Posted: Jan 06, 2016

The new year will be marked by many changes that could affect your personal finances. 

The first year after a general election is often the time when major reforms take effect, especially those which create losers as well as winners. 2016 will be no exception. 
 

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Highlights from the Autumn Statement

Posted: Feb 19, 2016

The Chancellor's third set piece of last year was almost another Budget.

After a Budget in March and another in July, it might have been thought that Mr Osborne would have little new to say in his Autumn Statement, but this proved not to be the case in two important areas.

Tax and additional homes

In his July Budget the Chancellor announced two measures aimed at individual investors in the buy-to-let market and the Autumn Statement added two more.

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The new state pension

Posted: Feb 19, 2016

The single tier state pension starts life on 6 April 2016, but even the Pensions Minister has doubts about how much of it the public understands.

A man born after 5 April 1951, or a woman born at least two years later, will not receive a basic state pension when they reach state pension age (SPA). Nor will they receive any additional state pension, such as the state second pension (S2P). Instead, as of 6 April they will be entitled to the new single tier state pension, which begins on 6 April 2016.

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