When it comes to dividing up assets on divorce, pension rights can turn out to be one of the most valuable elements – and often the most overlooked. Last October, the Financial Conduct Authority reported that employee benefit consultancies were recording ‘the average size of transfer at over £250,000’ – such large values mean that pensions can currently represent the greatest asset to be considered as part of a divorce settlement.
Lump sum withdrawals under pension flexibility are resulting in over-paid tax due to emergency tax codes. Don’t be caught out. Recent HMRC statistics highlight the over-taxation of some pension benefits. More than one million people have received flexible pension payments thanks to the rules introduced just over four years ago. HMRC’s most recent statistics, to the end of March 2019, show that 1,113,000 people have withdrawn….
New labour market figures show record levels of employment for the over 65s. As people are living longer, a parallel older-age profile is emerging in the labour force. Labour market statistics for the period December 2018 to February 2019 revealed some impressive results. In the UK, employment of those aged 16–64 was running at 76.1%, the joint highest level ever and up 0.7% on a year ago….
Statistics are showing a slowdown in the rate of improvements on our longevity, but don’t let the headlines mask the reality – your pension income is likely to need to last over 20 years. A recent report shows that life expectancy is still improving, but not as quickly as was once expected. “British life expectancy falls by SIX MONTHS for men and women”….
Changes to income tax, NICs and pension contributions are coming for 2019/20. One of the few certainties about 2019 is that the new tax rates and thresholds will take effect from the start of the 2019/20 tax year on 6 April and whilst the focus tends to be on year-end tax planning at this time of year, it is important to look forward to the new tax year and the changes that it will bring. From 2019/20 changes will come into effect for key income tax rates and thresholds, as well as pensions.
In early December the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced the thresholds that should apply to automatic enrolment pension contributions from 6 April 2019. We say ‘should’ because, strictly speaking, they need final approval from the Secretary of State, although any change is extremely unlikely. There are three key levels to be aware of:…
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is aiming to expand pension coverage among the self-employed. Pension automatic enrolment – or Workplace Pensions to you and I – has become a major success since it was launched nearly seven years ago, with almost 10 million people joining a workplace pension arrangement…
New year, new resolutions to break? Try our four financial resolutions with long term benefits. Have your New Year resolutions fallen by the wayside already? You know, the ones about eating better, drinking less and exercising more. The problem is they all require you to make a change to your lifestyle, which is never easy, particularly in the dark days of mid-winter….
The State Pension Age (SPA) became equal for men and women for the first time, at age 65, on 6 November 2018. Having reached this landmark, the next stage of SPA increases has already started. For both men and women, the state pension will become payable for anyone born between 6 December 1953 and 5 January 1954 on 6 March 2019. The SPA will then be increased to reach age 66 by October 2020. The SPA is scheduled to rise again as existing legislation already covers the increase from 66 to 67, phased in over two years from April 2026. The same legislation provides for a step up to 68, starting in April 2044.
The 2018 Budget, which was delivered on a Monday for the first time since 1962, produced a number of surprises, not least some high-profile giveaways. We look at how this ‘end to austerity’ will be put into effect.
The announcements in the Budget included:
• A £650 increase in the personal allowance to £12,500 for 2019/20, the level originally pencilled in for 2020/21.
• A £3,650 increase in the higher rate threshold to £50,000, again targeted for 2020/21.
• A £25,000 increase in the pension lifetime allowance to £1,055,000 from April 2019.
• A one-third reduction in business rates on smaller retail premises, starting from next April.
• An increase in the annual investment allowance (AIA), from £200,000 to £1,000,000, from January…..