‘You forgot your tax return again…?’

Are you going to meet the 31 January deadline for submitting your self-assessment tax return for the tax year ending 5 April 2019? Or will you spend the time instead thinking of excuses? ‘I forgot.’ ‘I was busy with work.’ ‘It looked complicated so I kept putting it off.’ ‘I didn’t realise I had to do it.’ … Continue reading “‘You forgot your tax return again…?’”

UK steps closer to introducing CDC pension schemes

A new kind of pension could begin to improve retirement outcomes for UK workers, once the latest piece of pensions legislation is passed. Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) schemes would merge some elements of defined benefit schemes with the basic principle of defined contribution schemes, creating a ‘hybrid scheme’ that combines employer affordability with greater security … Continue reading “UK steps closer to introducing CDC pension schemes”

Meet the Christmas Spirit of Advice

As Ebenezer Scrooge once observed, the festive season can be expensive. Enjoy good cheer all year round with wisdom from Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come. Scrooge is probably the most famous of all Charles Dickens’s creations. He’s also, perhaps, the most misunderstood. You probably remember him as just a selfish old miser. What … Continue reading “Meet the Christmas Spirit of Advice”

Old and young both missing out on advice opportunities

More than half of Brits over 65 are yet to take advice on their finances, despite evidence that advice doubles financial confidence. At the same time, younger generations are failing to exploit advice opportunities. The UK’s baby boomers have largely missed out on the benefits of financial advice, and younger generations are at risk of … Continue reading “Old and young both missing out on advice opportunities”

Woodford funds to wind down – what it means for investors

The UK’s most celebrated fund manager, Neil Woodford, has been sacked following a string of poor decisions. His fund’s failure leaves investors and pension fund members with potentially heavy losses – and many questions. The investment funds managed by Neil Woodford are to be wound up, some five months after their trading was suspended. The … Continue reading “Woodford funds to wind down – what it means for investors”

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)”

Investors take steps to protect against a downturn

Fears of a global downturn and other pressures such as Brexit are prompting UK investors to take a defensive stance. Higher-growth equities are being ditched in favour of more stable bonds and gold, which are seeing extraordinary demand. The US-China ‘trade war’, economic slowdown in Germany and worries about a no-deal Brexit have given the … Continue reading “Investors take steps to protect against a downturn”

Raise state pension age to 75, says think-tank

State pension ages are rising across the world, and the UK is no exception. By October 2020 Brits will have to wait until their 66th birthday to start drawing their state pension, and many born in the 60s and 70s will be 67 before they can draw theirs. The final scheduled increase is for 2028, … Continue reading “Raise state pension age to 75, says think-tank”

Virgin boasts the longest fixed-rate mortgage

Super-long fixed rate mortgage deals continue to make a comeback, as Virgin Money launches the first 15-year fixed since 2008.  The mortgage is available for buyers with surprisingly low deposits – but such long deals may not be right for every buyer. The first 15-year fixed rate mortgage in a decade has come onto the … Continue reading “Virgin boasts the longest fixed-rate mortgage”