Shortage of suitable homes scuppers downsizing plans

Once their offspring have left home, parents can often find the family house is too big for their needs and expensive to maintain. That’s why, as retirement approaches, many people think about downsizing, and moving to a smaller, easier-to-manage home that’s cheaper to run. However, it seems that suitable properties might not be that easy … Continue reading “Shortage of suitable homes scuppers downsizing plans”

Drawdown pensioners unaware of risks, study suggests

A new study by Age UK reveals growing anxiety among pension providers that retirees do not fully understand the risks of drawdown products – which may lead to a future ‘scandal’. Pension freedom has yet to face its toughest test, and the consequences could hit retirees hard, warns a report from Age UK. Although the … Continue reading “Drawdown pensioners unaware of risks, study suggests”

Put pensions into renewables, says minister

Climate change poses a financial risk ‘too important to ignore’, according to pensions minister Guy Opperman, particularly for the working generation saving for retirement. Pension funds with a high exposure to investments in fossil fuels are likely to take a hit to their long-term growth, as countries around the globe move towards greener energy sources. … Continue reading “Put pensions into renewables, says minister”

Over £19 billion ‘lost’ in forgotten UK pensions

Failure to keep tabs on old workplace pensions has led to billions of pounds worth of savings being misplaced or forgotten about, according to The Association of British Insurers (ABI). The ABI estimates put the figure at around £19.4 billion, comprising 1.6 million pots with an average size of £13,000. Pension pots can be ‘lost’ … Continue reading “Over £19 billion ‘lost’ in forgotten UK pensions”

It’s getting harder to predict your state pension – and here’s why

Changes to state pension age and pension credit, alongside reports of forecasting errors, are creating uncertainty around this most important benefit. State pension reforms risk leaving an increasing number of people unsure what their retirement income may be. Ongoing rises in the state pension age have coincided with a change to related benefits such as … Continue reading “It’s getting harder to predict your state pension – and here’s why”

Is your annual allowance endangered?

You can normally pay up to £40,000 into a pension each year and receive tax relief on it – this is your annual allowance. But you need to beware of not one but two big risks to your allowance, which could cost you a lot in tax. When you first heard about the pension annual … Continue reading “Is your annual allowance endangered?”

A French twist on equity release arrives in the UK

More people in retirement are turning to their homes as a source of cash. This usually means using a specialist equity release provider – but could an arrangement popular in France provide an alternative solution? Welcome to the strange world of the ‘viager’. Going up: the cost of living, life expectancy and the state pension age. Going … Continue reading “A French twist on equity release arrives in the UK”

Over-55s borrowing £11m a day against their homes

Many older people turned to their properties as a source of cash last year, due to the rising costs associated with later life. In 2018 homeowners borrowed nearly £11 million a day against the value of their homes, via the process known as ‘equity release’. Borrowing via equity release is at an all-time high in … Continue reading “Over-55s borrowing £11m a day against their homes”

Is it time to give your pension a spring clean?

The start of the new tax year can serve as a useful prompt to refresh your finances and take a look at your pension. Are your plans on track for your retirement? Here are a few steps you can take. PLAN AHEAD FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE One of the most important things you can do … Continue reading “Is it time to give your pension a spring clean?”

Hurrah! Pension Tax Relief unchanged

Although there had been much speculation, the Chancellor stopped short of major pension changes in his 2018 Budget speech, leaving pension tax relief unchanged. Other than the raising of the Lifetime Allowance in line with the Consumer Prices Index to £1,055,000 for the 2019-20 tax year, the rules surrounding pensions will stay the same. AN … Continue reading “Hurrah! Pension Tax Relief unchanged”