Funding future care costs

‘The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young’

With the UK’s population ageing, more people will be living with long-term care needs. Oscar Wilde once said: ‘The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.’ But the good news of rising life expectancy also brings with it the challenge of how we fund our future care costs. The question is: who is responsible for looking after us if we need care in old age? Continue reading

Election 2017

Why investors need to keep focused on long-term financial goals

Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that she would call for a snap UK general election on 8 June 2017 surprised many people. After weeks of campaigning, there was no outright winner, with both the Conservatives and the Labour Party failing to secure a majority, resulting in a hung parliament. Continue reading

Pension time bomb

Planning to prevent the financial equivalent of climate change

Millions of workers across the UK could be heading for a significant shortfall in the amount of pension they need for an adequate income. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has issued a warning that calls on the Government to impose faster pension-age rises as it earmarks the UK as one of several countries facing a ‘pension time bomb’, with the UK pension savings gap reaching £25 trillion by 2050 if action is not taken soon. Continue reading

Defined benefit pension schemes

Secure income for life

A defined benefit pension scheme is one where the amount paid to you is set using a formula based on by how many years you’ve worked for your employer and the salary you’ve earned rather than the value of your investments. If you work or have worked for a large employer or in the public sector, you may have a defined benefit pension. Continue reading

Defined contribution pension schemes

Providing an income in retirement

With a defined contribution pension, you build up a pot of money that you can then use to provide an income in retirement. Unlike defined benefit schemes, which promise a specific income, the income you might get from a defined contribution scheme depends on factors including the amount you pay in, the fund’s investment performance and the choices you make at retirement. Continue reading

Self-invested personal pensions

Providing greater flexibility with the investments you can choose

A self-invested personal pension (SIPP) is a pension ‘wrapper’ that holds investments until you retire and start to draw a retirement income. It is a type of personal pension and works in a similar way to a standard personal pension. The main difference is that with a SIPP, you have greater flexibility with the investments you can choose. Continue reading

Lifetime allowance

Value of payouts from pension schemes

The lifetime allowance is a limit on the value of payouts from your pension schemes – whether lump sums or retirement income – that can be made without triggering an extra tax charge. The lifetime allowance for most people is £1 million in the tax year 2017/18. Continue reading

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. Continue reading