Feeling the impact of raising the State Pension Age

The raised State Pension Age (SPA) may affect your retirement planning. Is it time to review your pension plans?

New research shows how the most recent increase in State Pension Age has hit those affected.  The last change in State Pension Age (SPA) was phased in between December 2018 and October 2020. Over that period, the SPA for both men and women increased from 65 to 66. The move was controversial, not least because…

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Flaming June sees a flare-up in interest rates

Both the Fed and the Bank of England increased interest rates in June in response to projected inflation.

June was a month for rising interest rates on both sides of the Atlantic. June was a notable month for interest rates: Firstly, the US central bank, the Federal Reserve (the Fed) increased its main interest rate by 0.75% to 1.50%–1.75%. It was the third consecutive meeting at which the Fed had raised rates and…

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Is interest in ISA’s beginning to wither on the vine?

Is interest in ISA's beginning to wither away?

ISA’s – New statistics show this year’s ISA season attracted less than half of last year’s total net investment.  The Investment Association (IA) recently published net sales figures for the ISA season, which it defines as March and April. It showed that the net inflow into the stocks and shares ISAs of its members amounted…

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Latest news: the return of the 60% income tax bracket

The 60% income tax bracket may return for some.

The high marginal tax rates created by phasing out the personal allowance are back in the news.  ‘A million to pay 60% income tax within years,’ ran a recent headline in The Sunday Telegraph. The next day The Times picked up on the same story with the article ‘Inflation may leave million more workers paying 60% tax’.  Whether either…

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Mind the gap – understanding pension tax relief

HMRC has released unpublished research revealing many misunderstandings around pension tax relief, including workplace contributions and government top-ups. How well do you understand the pension tax relief available to you?

How well is pension tax relief understood? Research suggests not well at all, potentially undermining saving motivations. Of late, HMRC has been publishing past research that had previously been kept under wraps. One interesting document to emerge details research commissioned in 2015 by Ipsos – the opinion polling company – into the understanding of pension…

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Research shows retirees enjoying their golden sunsets

Research shows retirees are spending more, well into their older age. Do you need to review your retirement plans?

Recent research has cast a new light on the spending habits of retirees – previous assumptions have been incorrect.  Do you expect your spending to reduce gradually once you retire? It is often thought that as people pass through retirement their spending falls, assuming they do not have to pay for residential care. However, fresh…

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How will inflation affect your cash and investments?

In April, UK inflation reached a level not seen since the early 1980s and there will likely be another rise just around the corner. What will it mean for your cash and investments?

In April, UK inflation reached a level not seen since the early 1980s – many people’s entire adult lives. UK inflation was widely expected to jump in April as the new Ofgem utility price cap took effect. Nevertheless, when the April annual CPI rate of 9.0% was announced in mid-May, it dominated the headlines. In…

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As interest rates rise, buy-to-let tax changes start to bite

Changes to buy-to-let tax rules that took effect in the 2020/21 tax year could soon inflict financial pain on investors as interest rates rise.

Changes to tax rules made some years ago could soon inflict financial pain for buy-to-let landlords as interest rates rise.  In the post-election Budget of 2015, the then Chancellor, George Osborne, announced a surprise set of changes to the tax rules for buy-to-let (BTL) residential properties. The most significant was the treatment of interest on BTL…

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Automatic enrolment – a pension success story

The success of automatic enrolment for pensions was recently underlined by new data from the ONS, but if you’re self-employed or only making minimum contributions, you may need to review your retirement planning.

Party(ing) politicians are held in low esteem at present, but there is one cross-party measure that deserves to be recognised – automatic pension enrolment. But its success shouldn’t be an excuse for complacency. Eighteen years ago, the Pensions Commission, set up by the Blair government, published its first report into UK pension provision. In 2005 a…

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