Posts in Category: pensions

Welcome to the 2014/15 tax-year! 

Monday, April 07, 2014 4:01:00 PM Categories: Budget Investments ISAs pensions Regulations

As I am sure you are aware, the 2014/15 tax-year started on Sunday 6th April. The new tax year promises to be an interesting one with the introduction of the NISA (New ISA) from 1 July, which will allow contributions up to £15,000, as well as the new flexibility with regard to pensions (although the real flexibility comes in in July 2015 where the whole pension fund can be taken as a lump sum, less tax at your marginal rate).

If you would like to discuss any of these topics or indeed any other area we can assist in, please get in touch.

UK residents are the worst at saving for retirement 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:20:00 AM Categories: pensions

The UK is the worst country in the world at saving for retirement, data from a new report into global savings shows. In the HSBC report, “The Future of Retirement: A New Reality”, the average Briton is found to spend 19 years in retirement but with savings that will run out after just seven. It means the average Briton’s savings only covers 37 per cent of their retirement income with the rest being covered by other income such as the state or employment.

On average globally people are storing up enough to pay for 56 per cent of their retirement which is an average of 18 years, leaving an eight year shortfall.

In the report, HSBC group head of wealth management Simon Williams says: “There are, of course, many obstacles to saving, including the lack of a regular savings habit and the financial impact of unexpected life events.

“Unfortunately, the impact of saving too little or too late will only become clear in later years, when people find they are retiring without the necessary income to support an active and fulfilling retirement.”


Pension scheme closures speed up 

Sunday, January 27, 2013 4:40:00 PM Categories: pensions

The closure of private sector pension schemes accelerated in 2012, says the National Association of Pension Funds. Its annual survey found that only 13% of final-salary schemes were open to new joiners, down from 19% in 2011. Meanwhile 31% were now closed to existing staff as well, up from 23% the previous year.

The NAPF said new staff in the private sector now had "next to no chance" of joining a final-salary scheme and the decline would continue.

Joanne Segars, chief executive of the NAPF, said: "The pressures on final-salary pensions have proven too great for many businesses. The growing liabilities fuelled by quantitative easing will have been a factor behind the record hike in closures."

"What was once the norm is now a very rare offer. And those who are currently saving into one may find it gets closed," she added.

The NAPF survey covered 1,018 schemes run by 280 private sector firms.

Retiring: Make sure you consider Enhanced annuities 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 3:08:00 PM Categories: pensions

A recent study by the Pensions Policy Institute has shown that Enhanced Annuities could potentially boost retirement incomes for those with health problems by an average of 19%.

Furthermore, the report also showed that a third of 60 to 64 year olds are limited in their ability to work as a result of a disability.

If you are retiring now or in the next few months please give us a call to go through your options. 

The Annuity problem 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 10:26:00 AM Categories: pensions

A recent report from the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and the Pensions Institute (PI) estimates that each annual wave of pensioners loses in total between £500m and £1bn in potential lifetime income by making the wrong decisions.

The most popular way to convert the money saved up in a pension into income is to invest in an annuity. These are policies set up by insurance companies that promise to pay a guaranteed income for life, no matter how long the policyholder lives. The problem is that different insurance companies pay different levels of income. People are allowed to shop around for the best annuity so they can get the highest possible income. But the system of shopping around is not working due to customer apathy.

As investment-linked annuities, fixed-term annuities and pension drawdown are increasingly the norm, the role of financial advisers has become even more important. As the age of retirement continues to creep higher, retirees have the opportunity to save even more into their pensions.

However, the combination of rising pension values and increasingly complex annuity products can create confusion and you should get in touch with us before making a decision on how to set up your retirement income.

The abolition of protected-rights 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 9:36:00 AM Categories: pensions

As of the 6th April it is no longer possible to contract-out of the additional state pension on a protected-rights basis. This change has been brought in by the Government and means that you could have much greater flexibility in how you can take your pension income.

If you are concerned about this change or wish to discuss any aspect of this further please get in touch through the Contact Us section of the website.