Blog

275 – A BUMPY RIDE FOR AUGUST ON THE MARKETS

Stock markets, as well as some family holidaymakers, experienced a roller coaster August. The traditional holiday month proved to be anything but quiet on the world’s investment markets. Inevitably the downward trends attracted more attention, particularly the fall in US share values on 13 August. “Dow drops 800 points” is a headline that newspaper editors…

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274 – MONEY PURCHASE ANNUAL ALLOWANCE PENALTIES

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed a gap in HMRC’s knowledge about how many people have been hit with penalties around the annual allowance. The annual allowance, which effectively sets the tax-efficient ceiling on annual pension contributions, used to be a subject of little interest, even among pension professionals. When it started life…

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270 – STUDENT FEES MAY BE CALMING DOWN

A government-commissioned report has proposed significant changes to the funding of university students in England. Students resident in England (different rules apply in other parts of the UK) pay a maximum university tuition fee of £9,250 per year, financed by a student loan. Further loans to cover maintenance plus interest at RPI+3% mean that at…

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264 – DIVIDENDS WOBBLE WITH 40% CUTS

A new set of proposals for funding long-term care has emerged from a significant source. The funding of long-term care is an issue that beats even Brexit in terms of protracted political procrastination. A Royal Commission on the subject was established in 1997 and reported in 1999. Its proposals were rejected by the then Labour…

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262 – BRAVE NEW WORLD OF UBI?

If those three letters mean nothing to you now, they may do soon. Universal Basic Income (UBI) has become a topic attracting attention among some think-tanks and political parties, both in the UK and overseas.The idea behind UBI is simple and has an obvious electoral appeal. In its most basic form, UBI would give every…

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261 – PENSION FLEXIBILITY: TOO TAXING FOR MANY!

Recent HMRC statistics highlight the over-taxation of some pension benefits. More than one million people have received flexible pension payments thanks to therules introduced just over four years ago. HMRC’s most recent statistics, to the end of March 2019, show that 1,113,000 people have withdrawn over £25,600m from their pensions, across 6,136,000 payments.The amounts withdrawn…

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259 – A POPULAR PEAK FOR VCT

Figures recently released for last tax year show the highest level of VCT investment since 2005/06. The Association of Investment Companies was quick off the mark after 5 April in announcing a near record level of fund raising for venture capital trusts (VCTs) in 2018/19. At £731m, 2018/19 VCT investment just beat the 2017/18 figure…

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258 – HOW LONG DO YOU WANT TO WORK?

As people are living longer, a parallel older-age profile is emerging in the labour force. Labour market statistics for the period December 2018 to February 2019 revealed some impressive results. In the UK, employment of those aged 16-64 was running at 76.1%, the joint highest level ever and up 0.7% on a year ago. Drill…

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256 – LIVING LONGER …

A recent report shows that life expectancy is still improving, but not as quickly as was once expected. “British life expectancy falls by SIX MONTHS for men and women” That was one recent headline in response to the latest report of the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. While it…

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