Pension transfers skyrocket

Pension transfers out of the private sector final salaries boomed in 2017. There was a dramatic increase in the value of number of transfers out of defined benefit (usually final salary) pension schemes in 2017. A recent Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed that the £20,800 million was transferred…

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Interest rate rises prove hard to predict

Interest rate rises are increasingly difficult to predict.

The Bank of England did not raise interest rates in May, despite earlier suggestions that it would.  About four years ago a member of the Treasury Select Committee compared Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, to “an unreliable boyfriend”. The remark was prompted by Mr Carney’s record of talking future interest rate…

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Savings tax review searches for simplicity

Savings tax review aims to simplify complex regulations

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) is carrying out a savings tax review. The OTS is looking at the way in which savings and investment income is taxed, which can be very complicated. According to its paper, published in May 2018, “the interactions between the [tax] rates and allowances is sufficiently complex at the margins…

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Mainland Chinese shares join the MSCI index

Important changes affecting market indices for Chinese shares took effect in June, which could affect emerging market funds. On 1 June, the index provider MSCI added 233 domestic Chinese shares to its emerging market and global indices. MSCI has some of the most widely used indices for measuring the performance of emerging markets, with the…

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Could major tax changes help young people?

Baby boomers could face the brunt of proposed new tax changes

A new report has proposed major tax changes by taxing baby boomers more,  to help resolve major issues around what’s called  intergenerational fairness. The report, published by the Intergenerational Commission in May, offers ten policy recommendations which would represent a radical overhaul of the UK tax system. Examples include replacing inheritance tax with “a lifetime…

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Increasing inheritance benefits for couples

Couples could now save an extra £20,000 of inheritance tax (IHT), as the residence nil rate band (RNRB) increased in April 2018. The RNRB was increased at start of the new tax year and it is due to increase by £25,000 in each of the next two years, reaching £175,000 in 2020/21. It will be…

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Higher threshold for student loan repayments

The threshold for student loan repayments rose in April - but it's not all good news.

The income threshold at which student loan repayments begin rose at the start of the new financial year on April 6. English and Welsh students who started their courses after 31 August 2012 can now earn £25,000 a year – up from £21,000 – before they have to start repaying their student loans. The increase could provide…

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Taking early advice on your tax return

Tax return advice from Jackson Toms

HMRC is starting the tax year with their annual reminder to submit your tax return. HMRC’s reminder might seem early, but its statistics show that 750,000 people (6.5%) missed the deadline for 2016/17, potentially facing an immediate £100 penalty, even if they had no outstanding tax to pay. Anyone with a 2016/17 return still outstanding…

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How useful is the Dow?

How useful is the Dow Jones index

The Dow Jones industrial Average – the Dow – is a well-known part of the investment market, often quoted by news sources. But what does it mean, and is it useful when making investment decisions? The Dow was created in 1896, and is arguably still used today mainly thanks to history or habit. There are…

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Pressure is dropping on inflation rate

The UK inflation rate is falling

The UK inflation rate is falling faster than expected, as the March figure for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.5%. This March figure, published in mid-April, surprised forecasters, who had predicted annual inflation would remain at 2.7%, as in February. That February figure was itself a surprise, as the forecasts had predicted 2.8%.  The…

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