News & Resources

Hello LISA

 

Saving for a first home or retirement at the same time

The start of the new tax year on 6 April 2017 saw the launch of the Lifetime ISA (LISA), which was announced in the 2016 Budget.

This is a new type of Individual Savings Account (ISA) designed to help you save for a first home or for your retirement at the same time. To be eligible, you have to be aged between 18 and 39 years old (up … Read the rest

Untying the knot

 

Divorcees twice as likely to have no savings

A daunting part of a separation or divorce for most couples is sorting out the finances. Financial disputes can be a major stumbling block in the divorce process and could take longer than the divorce itself.

This is the business side of divorce, and it may be the most important financial event of your life. The choices and decisions that you make will have an important influence on your financial well-being … Read the rest

Targeting supportfor investors

Income Tax dividend allowance reduction

On 8 March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered what people had expected – a Budget of few surprises to provide a ‘strong, stable platform for Brexit’. However, he did reveal the tax-free dividend allowance will be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.

The Treasury Budget document stated that this was intended to ‘reduce the tax differential between the self-employed and employed, and those working through a company, to raise revenue … Read the rest

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

Savers ‘banking on ISAs’

 

Weighing up the tax-efficiency versus flexibility

More than one in three retirement savers[1] are planning to rely on Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) for the majority of their retirement income.

ISAs don’t attract the upfront tax relief that pensions enjoy. However, unlike retirement savings plans, there is no tax to pay when you cash them in. With pensions up to 25% can be taken as tax-free cash.

Exploring a wide range of options

Even so, according to a study from … 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

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

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

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

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

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

No guarantee can be given that the information provided is accurate in the present or the future. It is not intended to constitute either a statement of applicable law or financial advice, and responsibility cannot be accepted for any subsequent loss following activity or inactivity by any individual or organisation. Indeed, such information should NOT be acted upon without first receiving appropriate and specific professional advice.