Maximise the lifetime income from your pension at retirement

Why shopping around for an annuity could increase your income

Thousands of people could end up with bigger pensions as new rules will force insurers to inform customers about better annuity options. The Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) new code of conduct forces insurers to give more information about how consumers can ‘shop around’ for a better deal, while ensuring that those with health problems receive a higher income as a result. Continue reading “Maximise the lifetime income from your pension at retirement”

The critical factor

Providing financial security at an emotional and difficult time

It’s easy to think “it won’t happen to me,” but if the worst should happen, your critical illness insurance could help provide financial security at an emotional and difficult time. Whether it helps pay off your mortgage, funds a relaxing holiday to recover from treatment, or just help you cope with the bills and expenses, the lump sum pay-out from critical illness insurance cover could relieve worries and let you concentrate on getting better. Continue reading “The critical factor”

Shelter up to £11,280 from the tax man this tax year

ISA limits will now increase each year in line with the increase in CPI

The need for long-term care and how it should be paid for is arguably one of the greatest causes for concern among our growing elderly population. Almost half a million people are now in residential care homes, nursing homes and long stay hospitals. Continue reading “Shelter up to £11,280 from the tax man this tax year”

Venture Capital Trusts raise £330 million

Fundraising levels sixth highest since launch

Figures published by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) show that £330 million (value of new shares issued), was raised by the Venture Capital Trust (VCT) sector during the 2011/2012 tax year compared to £365 million in the 2010/11 tax year and the sixth highest amount since VCTs were first launched in 1995. Continue reading “Venture Capital Trusts raise £330 million”

Unexpected increase to tax-free cash allowance

Good news for some occupational pension scheme members

In amongst the technical papers issued by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on the back of the Budget 2012 changes, Skandia has discovered a hidden gem. An alteration in the formula for calculating tax-free cash for pre 6 April 2006 (A-Day) members of occupational pension schemes could lead to people receiving more tax-free cash when they retire. Continue reading “Unexpected increase to tax-free cash allowance”

The impact of Budget 2012 on your financial planning

How  do the changes affect your pocket?

Change to retirement age
The Chancellor confirmed in Budget 2012 that he would increase the state pension age and that we should brace ourselves for having to work much longer in the future. There are already two increases to the state pension age scheduled for 2019 and 2026. If after 2026 the state pension age increases in line with our changing life expectancy, we could expect that someone who is currently 37 won’t be able to start drawing their state pension until they are 70 and someone who is
21 won’t receive it until they are 75. Continue reading “The impact of Budget 2012 on your financial planning”

‘Will’ your loved ones get your inheritance?

Make sure you avoid unnecessary legal complications and emotional hardship

Despite being a fundamental piece of family financial planning, six out of ten (61 per cent) of British adults don’t currently have a will* drawn up, according to research by Standard Life. Continue reading “‘Will’ your loved ones get your inheritance?”

Alternatives to help people improve income levels

Valuable planning opportunities in a retirement market where the gilt yield has declined

In a low gilt yield environment, having flexibility within a pension arrangement can make a big difference. Options include either delaying taking pension benefits until the situation improves, or phasing money into drawdown, to benefit from any potential upturn. Continue reading “Alternatives to help people improve income levels”