Pension rules post A-Day

How the landscape for retirement planning has changed

The government introduced new pension rules, known as ‘pension simplification’, that became effective from 6 April 2006 (A-Day). This completely changed the pension landscape by creating a single universal regime that replaced the previous eight tax regimes.
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Individual Savings Accounts

Your questions answered

Q: Can I invest the full £10,200 in cash?
A: No. Although ISA limits have been extended there are still separate limits for cash ISAs and stocks and shares ISAs. The maximum that can be invested in a cash ISA is £5,100, up from the current limit of £3,600. If you are under 50 you will be able to take advantage of this raised limit from next April.
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Inheritance tax planning

Your questions answered

You don’t have to be seriously wealthy for your estate to be subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT) after you die. Currently, IHT is levied on everything you leave over £325,000 (2009/10). Inheritance tax planning is a complex subject and it’s important to obtain professional advice if you have any concerns about your particular requirements, as this could save you thousands of pounds of potential lost tax.
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State pension age changes

Dates for your diary

The state pension age is the earliest age at which you are able to claim your state pension benefits. For many years this has been 65 for men and 60 for women, but things are soon to change. And the age at which you can claim that state pension will be determined by when you were born. However, this could all change again under a new government following the forthcoming general election.
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Dividing pension rights in a divorce

Complex calculations mean there are a number of factors to consider

Divorce can create financial difficulties. The pensions of both parties in a divorce may be considered when the court decides what money goes where. If one spouse never worked, while the other built up a large pension fund, this will have to be taken into account and the calculations can be complex.
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