Brexit or not – Can Employee Benefits help solve Britain’s productivity puzzle?

Within the next 24 months – and possibly during the course of this calendar year – the UK electorate will be faced with one very big decision; should we remain part of the European Union or go it alone? The … Read More

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Official data from the retirement reforms could add up to a three part tragedy

Earlier this month the Financial Conduct Authority published their retirement income data for the period July – September 2015.  These figures represent only the second quarter post implementation of Pension Freedoms – so are not necessarily a good indicator of … Read More

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Retirement options: The Tortoise and the Hare

In the world of financial services, and pensions in particular, it’s rare to see any reference made to the lessons of our childhood.  Yet recent criticism of pension annuities has reminded me of that most well-known of Aesop’s fables; The … Read More

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Is income protection really an expensive employee benefit?

As I have mentioned in a previous column, I am a big fan of Group Income Protection (GIP) as a key employee benefit.  Yet this important insurance struggles to get the political patronage and media coverage that it really should … Read More

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Some friendly fire for the Chancellor on pensions tax relief or something more revealing?

Sometimes a question can provide more insight than the answer. If you doubt me, take a look at this recent Parliamentary exchange recorded in Hansard. “Richard Graham (Gloucester) (Con): The coalition Government freed pensioners from mandatory annuities and encouraged saving … Read More

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We need joined up thinking on pensions so an independent commission still makes sense

This week the Minister for Pensions signalled a pause – or possible retreat from – the pension auto-enrolment transfer process known as “pot follows member”. The reason advanced to support this decision was the sheer weight of other change in … Read More

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Why the NHS deficit could be the killer blow for pension tax reliefs

It emerged last week that the NHS is in deep financial trouble. Whilst this state of affairs has been widely predicted in the medium term, the reports last week highlighted the increased pace and depth of the problem.  In the first … Read More

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“But don’t the pension freedoms just undo all the benefits of auto-enrolment?”

It should be explained that the above comment did not arise from myself. Nor did it arise from a pensions specialist, industry commentator, or journalist. No, this comment arose from an ordinary middle-manager in an everyday SME (small or medium … Read More

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Should employers be forced by government to support employees’ days of volunteering work?

In July I publicly stated my considered view of the employee benefits legislative landscape at the end of the government’s term in 2020. In shortened form, my summary was as follows: -          More employer costs -          Fewer tax reliefs -          … Read More

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The problem with pensions being somebody else’s problem

Winston Churchill once said ““Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried.” The great man was – and is – correct in saying that our political system is probably the best of … Read More

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