Pension Freedoms: the first year

The Pension Planner At retirement, Auto enrolment, Front page posts, Investment planning, News & Views, Saving for retirement

Pension Freedoms Last year the biggest pension changes seen by this generation came into force. Although there hasn’t been quite the rush of people determined to withdraw all their money from their pension early, to buy luxury things such as hot tubs or holidays, the statistics within the last year suggests, however, that those that have accessed their funds could have been more prudent. HMRC have claimed that approximately 188,000 men and women have dipped into their pensions since April 2015, with an average withdrawal of £18,600. This means that near to £3.5 billion was transferred from pension pots and …

The Pension PlannerPension Freedoms: the first year

Offshore Accounts, what are they?

The Pension Planner Front page posts, Inflation, Investment planning, News & Views, Tax & Estate planning

Offshore Accounts The Panama Papers which were leaked through offshore lawyers Mossack Fonseca has forced offshore funds back in to public attention. But yet, whilst the media tracks those that are identified to be profiting by such funds, there’s been little discussion of exactly what an offshore fund really is. True to its name, an offshore fund is an investment fund which is structured within offshore locations such as the Caymans, Jersey as well as British Virgin Islands. Whilst these funds, and offshore companies, have been put in place for a series of purposes, its key target is of course make …

The Pension PlannerOffshore Accounts, what are they?

Will Tax Relief plug the Black Hole?

The Pension Planner At retirement, Auto enrolment, Front page posts, Investment planning, News & Views, Saving for retirement

Prior to the recent Budget there was much speculation the Chancellor was preparing big changes on the tax relief on pensions. However, on the 11th hour, the Treasury scotched speculation of these changes and therefore there were no adjustments to pension savings tax relief within the forecast Budget. However, then came the ‘Black Hole’ once the opposition to suggested welfare savings, especially within disability benefits, headed by Iain Duncan-Smith’s decission to resign, derailed the Chancellor’s financial policies. The relationships were very easily made linking his planned HR income tax reductions for the wealthy and the benefit reductions for those in …

The Pension PlannerWill Tax Relief plug the Black Hole?

George provides a few surprises.

The Pension Planner At retirement, Auto enrolment, Front page posts, Investment planning, News & Views, Saving for retirement, Tax & Estate planning

Say whatever you like about our Chancellor – he’s pretty good at providing a few surprises. We had all been ready to see big changes in pension tax relief, and perhaps the creation of a brand new ‘pension ISA’ . Then, suddenly, that was cancelled and now we were told to no longer expect anything like that. And so the big release ended up… Well… a ‘Pension ISA’? Well, it’s not a pension ISA it’s a Lifetime ISA, however the principle is in fact the same. Pensions as we all know them are currently safe, however a new type of …

The Pension PlannerGeorge provides a few surprises.

Seven suggestions made to the government during the consultation on pension taxation

The Pension Planner At retirement, Auto enrolment, Front page posts, Investment planning, News & Views, Saving for retirement, Tax & Estate planning

The Government has now finished consultation considering how pension taxation could possibly work going forward.  George Osborne, says he expects to disclose the findings as well as the direction he is intending to take in the March Budget. But could there be a way to have an advance glance at the situation? What’s the Chancellor thoughts and just what might his final decision be in? Whilst there aren’t any certainties regarding this, Scottish Widows has highlighted several key ingredients it feels may make the system a success. These ideas could possibly make it into the consultation, so it’s this type …

The Pension PlannerSeven suggestions made to the government during the consultation on pension taxation

Should you start contributing more into pensions while you can still get the tax benefits

The Pension Planner At retirement, Auto enrolment, Front page posts, Investment planning, News & Views, Saving for retirement

Given the latest comment by George Osborne, and with similar comments in the Autumn Statement, it looks like pension tax is placed to get a bit of a shake-up in 2016. Bearing that in mind, there may be a possibility for HR taxpayers to really make the most of their retirement planning before the good times are taken away. Although not yet verified, it would appear that the writing might be on the wall for approximately 5 million pension savers benefiting from HR tax relief. There’s a suggestion the lucrative reduction is going to be heavily restricted – and could …

The Pension PlannerShould you start contributing more into pensions while you can still get the tax benefits

State Pension Top Ups

The Pension Planner At retirement, Front page posts, Inflation, Investment planning, News & Views, Saving for retirement

A fresh initiative enables people who attain the state pension age before April 2016, to increase their pension. Including people who currently draw their state pension. The Government is permitting retirees to purchase additional state pension through ‘Class 3A’ voluntary NI contributions between Oct 2015 and Apr 2017. This helps individuals attaining state pension age prior to Apr 2016 who won’t get the latest flat-rate pension. Some may be better off within the new plan (e.g. females and self-employed people) the top-up allows pensioners retiring prior to date, and who feel they are losing out, an opportunity to secure a …

The Pension PlannerState Pension Top Ups

Dividend Tax Changes

The Pension Planner Front page posts, Investment planning, News & Views, Tax & Estate planning

The Treasury disclosed in July how the dividend tax credit will be substituted with a tax-free allowance of 5k of dividend income for every taxpayer, this comes into force from April next year. The Chancellor said the move will “simplify dividend taxation”. But could this be the beginning of increased taxation of dividends?  Smaller companies will most likely have to review the way they remunerate directors, but will the necessity for these reviews rise in years to come? Baker Tilley examined any possible future changes and stated that there may be ‘uncomfortable knock-on effects – particularly for high-earners’ as result …

The Pension PlannerDividend Tax Changes

Here we are in January so time for a health check

The Pension Planner At retirement, Front page posts, Inflation, Investment planning, News & Views, Saving for retirement, Tax & Estate planning

The first part of the Year is an excellent time for planning and considering your goals for the forthcoming year and, in reality, you’ve most likely already done some this by contemplating your New Year resolutions. What have you focused on achieving this year?  getting fit?  stopping a bad habit? Or perhaps starting a good one? Many of us are pretty good at making these types of resolutions however, honestly, the resolution you should make during the early part of the year is financial. 2016 represents yet another chance for us to work on the goals we wish to achieve. …

The Pension PlannerHere we are in January so time for a health check

3 personal finance developments to watch out for in 2016

The Pension Planner At retirement, Front page posts, Inflation, Investment planning, News & Views, Saving for retirement, Tax & Estate planning

As always, the new year will find numerous shifts within the financial planning landscape for us all. Changes happen largely due to new regulation or policy introductions and, while there isn’t anything nearly as dramatic as 2015’s launch of pension freedoms around the corner, there’s still lots to look for in 2016. Here’s 3 of the largest changes you might want to familiarise oneself with.   Digital tax. Digital tax accounts are on their way… although over a fairly slow rollout currently! The aim from HMRC is to get everyone who completes a self-assessment tax form to do so electronically …

The Pension Planner3 personal finance developments to watch out for in 2016