Learning lessons from rising inflation and interest rates

interest rates set to peak in April

As 2021 drew to a close, inflation finally forced the Bank of England’s hand. What will higher rates mean for you? The November inflation figures, released in mid-December, once again exceeded the Bank of England’s (BoE) expectations. At the start of November, the BoE had said that CPI inflation was “expected to peak at around…

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England’s social care cost cap

The government has revealed more information on how the £86,000 social care cost cap will work in practice, which is less generous than expected. Have you factored the cost of care in your retirement plans?

More details have emerged on the £86,000 social care cost cap for England. At the start of September, the Prime Minister announced long-awaited plans for the funding of social care in England (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have their own social care funding regimes). Alongside the announcement came the news of a new Health…

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Demerging China from emerging markets

Many investment professionals, including Goldman Sachs, are calling for China to be removed from the emerging markets indices after accounting for nearly 35% of it.

Some investment professionals are calling for China to be removed from the main emerging markets indices. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is the leading emerging markets (EM) index, with over 1,400 constituents covering 26 countries. The value of investment capital either tracking or benchmarked against it measures in the trillions of dollars, a following that…

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Escaping the higher minimum pension age

Tthe government has closed the transfer window that allowed savers to join pension schemes and access their funds at 55.

A surprise change of tack on pension ages was revealed when this year’s Finance Bill was published. In February 2021, the government confirmed that it would go ahead with a two-year increase in the normal minimum pension age (NMPA) from 55 to 57 from April 2028. The NMPA is the earliest age at which you…

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Universal Credit eligibility expands to higher rate taxpayers

More than 500,000 higher rate taxpayers could now be eligible for Universal Credit, among 26% of all families and 84% of all single parents.

Autumn Budget reforms have created a surprising clash of benefits and income tax. The Covid-19 pandemic was the first time many people utilised Universal Credit (UC) for the first time – between February and May 2020, the number of households claiming UC rose by 1.7 million to 4.2 million. In March 2020, the UC standard…

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The global recovery in share dividends

share dividends are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels

Research shows that in Q3 2021, dividend payments increased sharply in all major markets and are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels before the year’s end. In 2020, global share dividends fell by 11.9% year-on-year in USD terms according to an index calculated by the investment manager Janus Henderson. In the UK, dividends suffered a…

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Triple Lock shifts to Double Lock in 2022

The pensions triple Lock will be replaced in 2022 by a Double Lock

The temporary Triple Lock suspension and the introduction of a Double Lock has cost pensioners up to £9.35 a week. Call it a good day for burying bad news. Within hours of the Prime Minister announcing his long-awaited plans for social care in England in early September, the Department for Work and Pensions revealed that…

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Company cars: heading downhill fast?

The number of company car drivers in the UK continues to fall

Recent data suggests the number of company car drivers continues to fall. Once upon a time, the aspiration of many an office worker was to climb the ladder to the height at which a company car became part of the remuneration package. The appeal of being liberated from the expenses of motoring – sometimes including…

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The pension annual allowance trap

Latest HMRC figures show that the annual allowance continues to help fill its depleted coffers. The annual allowance is an important number in the pension world. It sets the maximum tax-efficient amount of total contributions in a tax year – from any source – that can be made to pension schemes for your benefit. If…

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Placing a cost on retirement

How much income do you need for a comfortable retirement? New research has put a post-pandemic price on the answer. One traditional way to answer the question of how much income you will need in retirement is to fix the amount as a percentage of pay. For example, when final salary pension schemes were more…

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