News & Resources

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes

 

Tax rate charge on transfers on or after 9 March 2017

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) transferred on or after 9 March 2017 are now subject to tax charge at a rate of 25% on the transfer. The measure took effect with respect to relevant payments from QROPS from 6 April 2017.

A QROPS is an overseas pension scheme that meets certain requirements set by HM Revenue & Customs and must have a beneficial owner and trustees, and … Read the rest

Money Purchase Annual Allowance reduction

 

Discouraging individuals who seek to abuse the flexible pension rules

The Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) reduced from £10,000 to £4,000 from April 2017. Individuals affected will be those who have entered into flexible access arrangements (if they have taken benefits above and beyond their tax-free cash flexibly) to draw funds from their pension savings and continue to make contributions to money purchase pension schemes.

The MPAA was introduced by the Taxation of Pensions Act 2014 on 6 April … Read the rest

Pension freedoms


Retirement savers say they are still confused by the rules

On the second anniversary of the pension freedoms reforms THAT took effect from April 2015, some retirement savers say they are still confused by the rules and want no more changes.

The changes of April 2015 represented a complete shake-up of the UK’s pensions system, giving people much more control over their defined contribution pension savings than before. There are now more options for using this type of private pension … Read the rest

Road to Brexit

Biggest investment planning challenge over the coming years for all investors

Brexit has created an air of uncertainty, and no one really knows what’s coming next or what it could all mean in the long term. On 29 March, Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in a letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk, starting two years of divorce proceedings.

The implications of Brexit and its impact on markets is a significant investment planning challenge … Read the rest

Protecting your finances andwell-being

Millions of Britons face financial fallout should serious illness strike

It’s easy to think that we will never be diagnosed with a critical illness, particularly when we feel healthy and energetic, but we can fall ill with very little warning. A critical illness can have a serious impact not only on Your OWN life, but also on the lives of your children, spouse or partner. So it’s important to make sure that you financially protect yourself and your family.

The … Read the rest

Passing on wealth without further tax charges

 

Over-55s risk falling prey to the inheritance ‘sibling tax trap’

On 6 April 2017, a new additional main residence nil-rate band (RNRB) was introduced, which allows for less Inheritance Tax to be paid in situations when a family home is left to children, grandchildren or certain other ‘qualifying beneficiaries’ – including stepchildren and foster children.

But more than 1.7 million over-55s[1] could miss out because they’ve assigned their sibling to inherit their family home and not a direct descendant.… Read the rest

Golden years


Key to a positive retirement lifestyle

Unfortunately, some individuals do not realise the importance of planning for their retirement. The amount of money saved for retirement will eventually have a profound impact on how we live our lives and our standard of living in our golden years.

Typically, retirement is the best time to transform the dreams that we had whilst working into reality, and it should also be a time free from money worries, but we can only do … Read the rest

Inside the mind of a scammer

 

Tactics investment fraudsters use to deceive over-55s

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is urging over-55s to check that investment opportunities are genuine before they part with their money.

This comes as new research[1], commissioned as part of the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign, reveals that only two in five (42%) think they know how to spot a fraudulent investment opportunity. Fraudsters are targeting the growing over-55 population because they are more likely to have money to invest.

Advanced psychological tactics

In … Read the rest

Sustainable investing

Strategies to meet some of the most pressing global challenges ahead

Sustainable investing has gathered momentum across the world in the past decade as investors look for financial returns while helping to achieve a positive impact on the world around them.

Long viewed as a niche asset class catering to wealthy individuals and institutions that wanted to avoid controversial industries, the phrase ‘sin stocks’ emerged to describe firms linked to industries perceived by some to be unethical, such as tobacco, … Read the rest

Portfolio protection

Are we seeing the return of inflation?

It has been easy to grow complacent about inflation in recent years. The rate of inflation has remained stubbornly low, but could inflation be finally returning to Western economies, aided by the ‘Trumpflation effect’?

Concerns about inflation were already on the rise, and Donald Trump’s victory in the US election last year has further stoked expectations that price pressure, absent in most Western economies since the financial crisis, may make a return in … Read the rest

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket

Holding a blend of assets to help you navigate the volatility of markets

One of the most effective ways to manage investment risk is to spread your money across a range of assets that, historically, have tended to perform differently in the same circumstances. This is called ‘diversification’.

In the most general sense, it can be summed up with this phrase: ‘Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket’. While that sentiment certainly captures the essence of the issue, … Read the rest

Forgotten pensions

Out of sight, out of mind

The extent to which pension policies are being forgotten has been revealed in research from Aviva. A survey of almost ten thousand people who hold a pension has revealed that just under one in eight (13%) admitted they have at least one pension that they had forgotten about[1]. This is equal to more than 2.5 million pension policies currently sitting in the back of people’s minds[2].

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Among those with a forgotten pension, the majority … Read the rest

Lifetime Individual Savings Accounts

Make your next move to saving flexibly for a first home and retirement

Lifetime Individual Savings Accounts are being launched by the Government to help 18–40-year-olds to save and invest flexibly for the long term. The aim is that people will not have to choose between saving for their first home and retirement.

They can use some or all of the money to buy their first home or keep it until they’re 60. Similar to normal Individual Savings Accounts, they … Read the rest

Gender savings gap widens

Report findings suggest this trend is set to continue

Half of women (52%) are now saving adequately for their retirement compared to 60% of men, according to the latest Scottish Widows ‘Women & Retirement’ Report. But while this maintains the record high levels achieved in 2015, the gap between men and women has widened since 2014 when 50% of women were saving adequately compared with 55% of men.

Pessimism levels are also higher among women, with nearly three fifths (57%) … Read the rest

Income matters

Providing the foundation for an exciting new chapter in your life

Nobody knows quite what the future holds. The good news is we are all living longer. Advances in medicine and healthier lifestyles have led to an increase in the average life expectancy of both males and females.

The bad news is we have to find ways of funding that retirement and longevity. But low interest rates and bond yields – the traditional sources of income – aren’t sufficient to … Read the rest

Financial futures

Building a nest egg for when children need it

The prospect of a child leaving home is scary enough for parents – and then there’s money to think about. Even if they get a student loan or find work, how will they be able to afford their first car or home? Parents and family often do what they can to help give children a financial leg-up, with many choosing to set aside money for their future during their childhood.

When … Read the rest

Money Purchase Annual Allowance

Reduction to prevent inappropriate double tax relief

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered his first and last Autumn Statement to Parliament on Wednesday 23 November 2016.

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He announced that the Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA), an annual amount individuals can contribute to defined contribution pensions after having previously accessed a pension flexibly, will be reduced from £10,000 to £4,000 and come into force from April 2017. This announcement will affect taxpayers (employees and self-employed) who have withdrawn amounts from … Read the rest