At last the real scandal emerges – the lid is lifted on the disgrace of old style overcharging pension contracts

There has been a huge debate, a lengthy report by a top City lawyer and acres of news print in the last nine months about a huge Financial Conduct Authority blunder, which led to massive upheavals for insurance company share … Read More

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Annuities are not always poor value if you shop around. But that message is sure to get lost amid the terrible headlines

This morning investors will have been alerted once again to the fact that buying an annuity directly from the pension provider they saved with in the first place can be a terrible idea. In many ways it amounts to locking … Read More

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A row about pension payments and mortgage affordability shows that many people are feeling the pinch

The UK is undergoing a pension revolution. All employers must offer a pension – the smallest firm join the system in the next few years – and if workers decide to contribute, then the employer must as well. This has … Read More

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Pension tax relief may prove to be a tricky detail arising from more powers for Scotland

It is still early days in the debate over extra powers for Scotland. But the implications of variations in income tax could be profound. The Smith Commission, reported here on the BBC gives Scotland freedom to vary income tax as … Read More

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Are these the seven biggest risks to investors from the pension income reforms?

It is clear that pension investors are waiting to take advantage of the pension income reforms, but what about the risks? The Association of British Insurers has confirmed that annuity sales are down a spectacular 56 per cent on the … Read More

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If pension investors with £50,000 insist on income drawdown, surely they should be able to ask their IFA for help

Politicians, pension firms, financial watchdogs and consumer groups are in the middle of a huge debate about what you are going to do with your pension. Maybe they should ask you. With the freedoms announced in the Budget, everyone is … Read More

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Increasing the retirement age is not as simple as just keeping up with life expectancy

As we live longer, so it seems we must work longer. That is clearly the view of the Department for Work and Pensions. The department has a great deal of input into the amount and indeed the conditions attached to … Read More

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The Scottish independence vote – clear economic risks but there may be financial planning opportunities too

Every investor and saver in what is currently the United Kingdom may need their own personal ‘policy’ on Scotland. That certainly applies to UK citizens from Gretna north. But it is increasingly clear that there will be potential economic and … Read More

Posted in Public Policy, Scotland | 3 Comments

Does Neil Woodford’s view on HSBC hold lessons for the wider investing public?

Neil Woodford’s blog can’t have made happy reading for the bosses at HSBC despite what was genuine praise for their management strategy. Mr Woodford’s investors may also have been reassured that a manager, famous for sticking to his guns, is also … Read More

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Taking advantage of the new pension reforms? Careful you don’t pay tax you don’t need to

A recent conversation between Mindful Money and Standard Life’s head of customer affairs Julie Hutchison saw her suggesting that the impact of income tax and pensions is becoming a lot more important and investors more aware. This will certainly be … Read More

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