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Hello LISA


Saving for a first home or retirement at the same time

The start of the new tax year on 6 April 2017 saw the launch of the Lifetime ISA (LISA), which was announced in the 2016 Budget.

This is a new type of Individual Savings Account (ISA) designed to help you save for a first home or for your retirement at the same time. To be eligible, you have to be aged between 18 and 39 years old (up until … Read the rest

Untying the knot


Divorcees twice as likely to have no savings

A daunting part of a separation or divorce for most couples is sorting out the finances. Financial disputes can be a major stumbling block in the divorce process and could take longer than the divorce itself.

This is the business side of divorce, and it may be the most important financial event of your life. The choices and decisions that you make will have an important influence on your financial well-being for … Read the rest

Savers ‘banking on ISAs’


Weighing up the tax-efficiency versus flexibility

More than one in three retirement savers[1] are planning to rely on Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) for the majority of their retirement income.

ISAs don’t attract the upfront tax relief that pensions enjoy. However, unlike retirement savings plans, there is no tax to pay when you cash them in. With pensions up to 25% can be taken as tax-free cash.

Exploring a wide range of options

Even so, according to a study from MetLife, … Read the rest

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes


Tax rate charge on transfers on or after 9 March 2017

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) transferred on or after 9 March 2017 are now subject to tax charge at a rate of 25% on the transfer. The measure took effect with respect to relevant payments from QROPS from 6 April 2017.

A QROPS is an overseas pension scheme that meets certain requirements set by HM Revenue & Customs and must have a beneficial owner and trustees, and it can receive … Read the rest

Targeting supportfor investors

Income Tax dividend allowance reduction

On 8 March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered what people had expected – a Budget of few surprises to provide a ‘strong, stable platform for Brexit’. However, he did reveal the tax-free dividend allowance will be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.

The Treasury Budget document stated that this was intended to ‘reduce the tax differential between the self-employed and employed, and those working through a company, to raise revenue to … Read the rest

Money Purchase Annual Allowance reduction


Discouraging individuals who seek to abuse the flexible pension rules

The Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) reduced from £10,000 to £4,000 from April 2017. Individuals affected will be those who have entered into flexible access arrangements (if they have taken benefits above and beyond their tax-free cash flexibly) to draw funds from their pension savings and continue to make contributions to money purchase pension schemes.

The MPAA was introduced by the Taxation of Pensions Act 2014 on 6 April 2015. … Read the rest

Pension freedoms


Retirement savers say they are still confused by the rules

On the second anniversary of the pension freedoms reforms THAT took effect from April 2015, some retirement savers say they are still confused by the rules and want no more changes.

The changes of April 2015 represented a complete shake-up of the UK’s pensions system, giving people much more control over their defined contribution pension savings than before. There are now more options for using this type of private pension … Read the rest

Road to Brexit

Biggest investment planning challenge over the coming years for all investors

Brexit has created an air of uncertainty, and no one really knows what’s coming next or what it could all mean in the long term. On 29 March, Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in a letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk, starting two years of divorce proceedings.

The implications of Brexit and its impact on markets is a significant investment planning challenge … Read the rest

Protecting your finances andwell-being

Millions of Britons face financial fallout should serious illness strike

It’s easy to think that we will never be diagnosed with a critical illness, particularly when we feel healthy and energetic, but we can fall ill with very little warning. A critical illness can have a serious impact not only on Your OWN life, but also on the lives of your children, spouse or partner. So it’s important to make sure that you financially protect yourself and your family.

The … Read the rest

Spring Budget 2017


What did it mean for your financial plans?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered his Spring Budget to Parliament on 8 March 2017. This Budget was the last one to take place in the spring. The Chancellor said last year that he wanted to simplify the whole business of setting taxes and government spending, which had become too complicated.

New National Savings and Investments Bond launched

A new NS&I bond paying 2.2% over a term of three years on … Read the rest

Golden years


Key to a positive retirement lifestyle

Unfortunately, some individuals do not realise the importance of planning for their retirement. The amount of money saved for retirement will eventually have a profound impact on how we live our lives and our standard of living in our golden years.

Typically, retirement is the best time to transform the dreams that we had whilst working into reality, and it should also be a time free from money worries, but we can only do … Read the rest

Passing on wealth without further tax charges


Over-55s risk falling prey to the inheritance ‘sibling tax trap’

On 6 April 2017, a new additional main residence nil-rate band (RNRB) was introduced, which allows for less Inheritance Tax to be paid in situations when a family home is left to children, grandchildren or certain other ‘qualifying beneficiaries’ – including stepchildren and foster children.

But more than 1.7 million over-55s[1] could miss out because they’ve assigned their sibling to inherit their family home and not a direct descendant.

Passing

Read the rest

Navigating markets


UK and European investment company managers comment on the outlook post-Brexit

On Wednesday 29 March, Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon was triggered, formally notifying the EU that the UK intends to withdraw from membership and starting the clock for leaving negotiations.

The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) collated the following views of investment company managers on whether this will impact how they manage their portfolios and the outlook for UK and European markets.

UK manager views

Harry Nimmo, … Read the rest

Advice matters


Do you have the time to keep fully up to speed with everything that’s going on?

With a burgeoning choice of products on the market, and considering the busy lives we all lead, it can be difficult to find the time to keep fully up to speed with everything that’s going on – especially when you consider that financial products are unlikely to remain the same throughout your lifetime.

Obtaining professional financial advice enables you to discuss your objectives, understand … Read the rest

Inside the mind of a scammer


Tactics investment fraudsters use to deceive over-55s

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is urging over-55s to check that investment opportunities are genuine before they part with their money.

This comes as new research[1], commissioned as part of the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign, reveals that only two in five (42%) think they know how to spot a fraudulent investment opportunity. Fraudsters are targeting the growing over-55 population because they are more likely to have money to invest.

Advanced psychological tactics

In 2016, … Read the rest