Annuities: the trickiest pension decision of all?

As Prudential is fined £24m for its former practice of selling annuities to customers without encouraging them to shop around, there are signs that these retirement products are becoming better value – for those who choose wisely. The financial regulator has penalised Prudential for sales practices that occurred pre-2013, for not offering consumers the choice … Continue reading “Annuities: the trickiest pension decision of all?”

People are paying less into their pensions (but more have them)

The good news: pension scheme membership is growing. Not so good: the average level of saving is falling. New HMRC figures show that although the pension message is getting through, many remain unaware of how big a retirement fund they will need. The average person saving into a pension paid in around £200 less last … Continue reading “People are paying less into their pensions (but more have them)”

Retirement: 68% may be making the wrong choices by going it alone

Since the introduction of the pension reforms, retirees have much greater flexibility to spend and invest their pension pots as they wish. However, this means that people are faced with important decisions, both in the run-up to retirement and afterwards, that will affect their standard of living and financial outlook for years to come. A … Continue reading “Retirement: 68% may be making the wrong choices by going it alone”

The intergenerational fairness debate – Peers make recommendations

The House of Lords Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision has concluded, following a 12-month parliamentary inquiry, that the government should take steps to make society fairer by supporting younger people, particularly in the employment market and the provision of housing. The deal between young and old to support each other through life could break … Continue reading “The intergenerational fairness debate – Peers make recommendations”

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”

Financial advice and the fishing rod riddle

Three fishermen, three rods, three price tags, but only one answer. What can fishing teach us about the value of financial advice? *Ding*. The bell rings above the door of Hartley’s Fly Fishing Supplies. Three men enter, all equally determined to win this year’s Lower Kimbleton angling tournament. The first, Andrew, makes a beeline for … Continue reading “Financial advice and the fishing rod riddle”

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?”