News & Resources

Devil’s in the detail

Taking stock of Budget 2016

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivered his eighth Budget speech on Wednesday 16 March, his third in 12 months. Now that we’ve had time to take stock of the key announcements, we consider how they could impact your finances both today and in future years.

The Personal Allowance will increase to £11,500, and the higher-rate threshold will rise to £45,000 in April 2017 The Personal Allowance is the amount of income you can … Read the rest

Pension freedoms: one year on

What are the key reasons for shifting retirement patterns?

New pension rules which give you far greater flexibility over what you can do with your pension pot came into force on 6 April 2015, but according to Aviva’s latest Working Lives report a third of people aged over 50 who are employed in the private sector are now planning to retire later than they previously hoped.

The 2016 report – which comprises research among UK private sector employers and employees … Read the rest

Hello LISA

Harnessing the simplicity and popularity of the ISA wrapper

The introduction of the new Lifetime Individual Savings Account (LISA) next year is aimed at helping young people save flexibly for the long term throughout their lives, and simultaneously enabling them to save for a first home and for their retirement without having to choose one over the other.

Simplicity and popularity LISA is designed to work in conjunction with existing ISA products and be simple for savers to use by … Read the rest

Tax credit on dividends abolished

Tax-free Dividend Allowance introduced under new system

From April this year, the notional 10% tax credit on dividends has been abolished and replaced by a new tax-free Dividend Allowance. The Dividend Allowance means that you won’t have to pay tax on the first £5,000 of your dividend income, no matter what non-dividend income you have.

The allowance is available to anyone who has dividend income, and headline rates of dividend tax are also changing.

Income Tax will apply to any Read the rest

Marathon Effort

Thank you to everyone who donated and came along on the big day to cheer us on – with your help, we have so far managed to raise a wonderful £9,874.01 for our 4 charities, exceeding the target we set.

Nick finished the London Marathon in an impressive 3h:47m, with Ed close behind finishing in 3h:53 – both really pleased and mostly relieved!

Now training is focused on tackling Mont Blanc next Spring!

The Just Giving Page is still Read the rest

Financial protection

jIf the worst happened, are you fully protected?

It’s easy to think, ‘I’d cope, that’ll never happen to me’. But any of us could become ill, and a critical illness policy may help to give some financial security at a difficult time.

If the worst does happen, it’s important to make sure you’re financially protected against the impact a critical illness could have on you and your family.

No preventive action Research from Aviva shows that more than eight million … Read the rest

Tax-efficient investments

bOptions to minimise how much tax you pay

By understanding which investments are the most tax-efficient, you can make the most of your options to minimise how much tax you pay. As well as deciding what to invest in, you need to think about how you’re going to hold your investments. Choosing tax-efficient investments will often mean you’re able to keep a higher proportion of any returns you make.

You should always bear in mind that tax rules can change … Read the rest

Pension tax relief

New tapered annual allowance for high earners

The pension tax relief system is about to be reinvented. The Government announced in the Summer 2015 Budget their intention to cut pensions tax relief for high earners by introducing a tapered annual allowance from 6 April 2016 for individuals with income (including the value of any pension contributions) of over £150,000, and who have an income (excluding pension contributions) in excess of £110,000. The rate of reduction in the standard annual allowance … Read the rest

Income protection

b-2Research highlights existing gap between awareness and prioritisation

Having a clear understanding of your protection requirements and the importance of getting the right professional financial advice as you enter the New Year are essential, and they will be of increasing significance from April when working age welfare support for mortgage interest and bereavement benefits are scheduled for reform.

More than one in five (23%) Britons with savings say they wouldn’t last longer than a couple of months if they were … Read the rest

Pension credit

k-2Cuts for people who go abroad for over a month

People who go abroad for over a month will no longer be eligible for pension credit. At present, housing benefit and pension credit recipients can go abroad for up to 13 weeks while continuing to receive payouts.

The spending review says: ‘The benefit system should not subsidise those on benefits to go abroad for extended periods. This reform will ensure the benefit system is not paying the rent of people … Read the rest

New dividend tax regime

hWhat could the new system mean to you?

From April this year, the notional 10% tax credit on dividends is to be abolished and will be replaced by a new tax-free Dividend Allowance. The Dividend Allowance means that you won’t have to pay tax on the first £5,000 of your dividend income, no matter what non-dividend income you have.

The allowance is available to anyone who has dividend income, and headline rates of dividend tax are also changing.

Income tax Read the rest

Buy-to-let and second homes

f-2Higher stamp duty payable from April 2016

Buy-to-let landlords and people buying second homes from April this year will have to pay a 3% surcharge on the stamp duty charged for the property.

Chancellor George Osborne made the announcement during his Spending Review and Autumn Statement last year. From April, you will have to pay a 3% surcharge on the stamp duty charged for the property, set to raise an extra £1bn extra for the Treasury by 2021.

Buy-to-let landlords … Read the rest

10 steps to a brighter retirement

Concerned about the financial aspects of retirement planning?

With all the talk and concern about dwindling retirement funds and our shaky economy, many retirees and soon-to-be-retired boomers are concerned about the financial aspects of retirement planning. These are 10 steps to give you a brighter retirement.

1. From 6 April 2015, on reaching the age of 55 you can now use your pension savings in any way you like. The first 25% can be taken as tax-free cash and the … Read the rest

It’s good to talk

When was the last time you discussed the family’s finances?

The unexpected death of a spouse can lead to considerable financial problems if the surviving partner is not fully aware of the state of the family’s finances. All too often, couples do not fully discuss the implications of the death of a spouse or partner, and this can create additional stress that could easily have been avoided. So it’s worth taking some time out to consider the following areas of … Read the rest

New domicile rules

Significant structural changes introduced from 6 April 2017

Permanent non-dom tax status will be abolished from 6 April 2017. The reform does not eliminate the tax status, but individuals who have lived in the UK for 15 of the past 20 years will lose the right to claim it.

The proposed measures: People who have been resident for more than 15 out of the past 20 years will be deemed domicile for all tax purposes, so no remittance basis will … Read the rest

Is cash really king?

Retirees exploit new pension freedoms

Since 6 April this year, anyone aged 55 or over could – in theory – empty their money purchase pension funds entirely, although any withdrawals will be treated as income and taxed as such. Nine in ten people (90%) going in to drawdown have taken advantage of the new pension freedoms and have chosen to take a cash lump sum, according to pension provider Zurich. The remainder are opting for an annuity or drawdown.

Less Read the rest

Pension planning apathy

More than ten million pots are being left largely unmonitored

Individuals are living longer, meaning that savings have to fund a longer period of retirement. However, there has been a well-documented decline in pensions saving over time. Many people do not think about retirement as they consider it’s too far in the future, and almost two thirds (63%) of over-45s who are not yet retired admit they pay little or no attention to their pensions, leading to more than ten … 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.