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Inflation falls to 1.6%, the lowest since October 2009

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

Inflation falls to 1.6%, the lowest since October 2009

On Tuesday last week The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that inflation fell to its lowest level in more than four years in March to 1.6%. This marked the first time wages have grown faster than price increases since the height of the financial crisis in 2008, (apart from a brief period in 2010). The news came a day before labour market figures which showed Britain’s job market has staged a much stronger recovery than expected. The unemployment rate has unexpectedly fallen to 6.9% in the three months to February, the...

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TAX-EFFICIENCY NEEDN’T BE TAXING

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

TAX-EFFICIENCY NEEDN’T BE TAXING

At the more esoteric end of the investment market and encouraged for their support of many smaller businesses, are enterprise investment schemes (EIS), seed enterprise investment schemes (SEIS) and venture capital trusts (VCT). These tend to be collectively termed ‘tax-efficient’ investments, although they bring other benefits beyond those relating to HMRC. EISs offer 30% income tax relief of the amount you invest in these shares, up to a maximum of £1m per tax year, and remember you can roll that relief back to the...

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MMR: A SHOT IN THE ARM FOR MORTGAGE ADVICE

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

MMR: A SHOT IN THE ARM FOR MORTGAGE ADVICE

Anyone considering taking out a mortgage recently may have been made aware of the Mortgage Market Review being undertaken by the Financial Conduct Authority – the industry regulator. The Mortgage Market Review, or MMR, is a process that has been scrutinising the mortgage market for the last few years – with the consultation commencing in 2009 – and working with all facets of the industry in order to tighten up lending procedures to avoid the overheated housing market seen at the height of the financial crisis. While...

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IS IT ENOUGH TO RETIRE?

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

IS IT ENOUGH TO RETIRE?

With the government’s auto-enrolment scheme steadily making progress, it’s all too easy to view it as the cushion that will provide sufficient funding of our lifestyles once we reach retirement. Yet while certainly a positive move towards encouraging more people to start building a pension pot, it’s only the first step. If you are employed, check out the details of the workplace scheme your employer has selected, whether it is a pre-existing scheme or a one adopted for auto-enrolment purposes. Ask yourself if you’re wholly satisfied...

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EXTRA CASH IN HAND?

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

EXTRA CASH IN HAND?

Individual savings accounts (ISAs) are most people’s first venture into the world of investments. The vehicles are broad-ranging, can be easy to access, and the tax benefits are quite clear. Your total ISA limit for the tax year 2013-14 is £11,520, of which up to £5,760 can be held in cash. While any interest paid will be tax-free, given where interest rates are on cash accounts currently, you might wish to consider the potentially more fruitful stocks and shares ISAs, though these are best considered for the longer term, as their value...

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USE OR LOSE YOUR ISA ALLOWANCE

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

USE OR LOSE YOUR ISA ALLOWANCE

Unlike some tax concessions operating on an annual basis, there is no facility to carry unused Individual Savings Account allowance from one tax year to the next. This can often mean a hurried decision in late March, to get the new money in by 5 April (a Saturday this year). It is far better to think ahead, to ensure that the choice of ISA is a measured one and also to gain a degree of flexibility on timing. It is around a quarter of a century since the British public were introduced to tax-sheltered savings and investments. They loved them;...

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FLOODS OF TEARS FOR THE UNINSURED

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

FLOODS OF TEARS FOR THE UNINSURED

The start of the year saw floods so severe that images of thrill-seekers wakeboarding down slip roads dominated photo galleries across the media. According to the Association of British Insurers, 2012 presented the UK with some of its wettest conditions in more than 100 years and the trend has obviously continued. More than 8,000 properties were affected by widespread 2012 flooding, causing £400m worth of damage. Thankfully, the insurance industry offered a helping hand then, as now. Insurance is effectively paying for peace of mind amid...

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Government Announce 0.75% A/E Pension Charge Cap

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

Government Announce 0.75% A/E Pension Charge Cap

On 27th of March 2014 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) released a consultation document on workplace pension charging. This has been expected for some time and broadly commends imposing a cap of 0.75% AMC from April 2015. The previous consultation had offered a three option range of solutions, one of which was 1% AMC, broadly in line with stakeholder. In reality the Government have observed schemes operating from October 2012 in the auto enrolment marketplace at around 0.25% AMC to 0.75% AMC. The high value less transient schemes...

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Summary of Budget Key Changes

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Latest News | 0 comments

Summary of Budget Key Changes

  The key changes Changes from 27 March 2014 to defined contribution (DC) pension pots:   Income drawdown maximum income increases to 150% of GAD tables (from 120%). We believe this wider flexibility will also be extended to investment-linked annuities. More consumers will have access to flexible drawdown where withdrawals are unlimited. Currently people can only access this if they have £20,000 ‘secure’ income – that limit falls to £12,000. More consumers with small pension pots will be able to take them as a cash lump sum...

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‘Too little, too late’ pension worry

Posted by on Feb 5, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

‘Too little, too late’ pension worry

How much should we put aside each month to give ourselves the chance of a comfortable retirement and when should we start? These may be ‘how long is a piece of string?’ sort of questions, but there are some clues out there to help us. Even if you currently pay into a personal pension, the answers may be ‘more than at present’ and ‘very soon’, to avoid squirrelling too little, too late. A new pension auto-enrolment scheme is just getting under way, starting with big employers. Both employer and employee,...

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