Third time lucky for an Independent Pensions Commission?

Cast your mind back to before the 2015 General Election, and you may recall that there was much talk of “taking the politics out of pensions”, with the suggested creation of an Independent Pensions Commission (IPC).  I wrote about this topic then, and that post can be viewed here. Of all the main political parties […]

7 March 2016 by Steve Herbert

Pensions

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A glass half full view on the expected changes to pension tax relief

Much will be written over the next couple of months about the changes to pension tax reliefs which will probably be announced by the Chancellor in his March Budget statement. I’m quite certain that I will also be adding to this melee of written words, yet I think that now might be a good time […]

19 February 2016 by Steve Herbert

Pensions

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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 outcomes of this referendum will naturally have a huge – and as yet largely unquantified […]

26 January 2016 by Steve Herbert

Pensions

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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 long term trends  – yet the findings are really rather concerning. The headline message is […]

21 January 2016 by Steve Herbert

Pensions

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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 Tortoise and the Hare. Now we all know how this one goes, yet we may […]

15 December 2015 by Steve Herbert

Retirement

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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 merit. So I was delighted to see GIP included in a recent report published by […]

10 December 2015 by Steve Herbert

News

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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 through ISAs and auto-enrolment. However, tax relief on contributions to pensions is expensive and favours […]

9 November 2015 by Steve Herbert

Pensions Retirement

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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 the pensions space.  The Minister mentioned the continued roll-out of auto-enrolment, implementation of Pension Freedoms, […]

16 October 2015 by Steve Herbert

Pensions

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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 three months of the current financial year the organisation racked-up a bigger overspend than the […]

16 October 2015 by Steve Herbert

Pensions

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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 sized enterprise) – albeit one that had just had the recent legislation changes to pensions […]

12 September 2015 by Steve Herbert

Expert Opinion

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