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Understanding Pensions on Death

The options available will depend on a number of factors, and since 6 April 2015 the most important of these is the age at the date of death, either before age 75 or over 75, to determine the amount of tax payable.

Death before age 75 The value of the pension fund at the date of death is payable to the nominated beneficiaries, and this is free of income tax provided they are designated within two years of the member’s death. If the designation is made after two years any income or lump sum paid will be subject to income tax at the beneficiary’s marginal rate.

The beneficiaries can choose how they wish to take the benefits, including a lump sum from the scheme, flexi-access drawdown, an annuity or scheme pension. You should note however that not all schemes will offer all of these options.

It is important to also remember that funds not already crystallised before death will be tested against the member’s remaining lifetime allowance. If the value of the death benefits takes them over …
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October Budget Update

Personal Tax-free Allowance & Higher Rate Tax The personal allowance – how much you earn before you need to start paying income tax – will increase by £650 in April 2019, to £12,500.

Higher-rate income tax threshold to rise to £50k
The earnings threshold at which you’d need to pay the higher rate of tax (currently 40%) is going up to £50,000, from £46,351.

Both changes come into effect from 6 April 2019, a year earlier than planned. The Treasury estimates that around 32 million people will benefit as a result.

Lifetime Allowance As announced earlier, the Lifetime Allowance is due to rise by 2.4 per cent to £1,055,000 in 2019 in line with September’s consumer price index (CPI) inflation figure, which is good news for pension savers. The Lifetime Allowance is the maximum you normally can save over the lifetime of your pension pot without paying extra tax.

There were no changes to pensions tax relief rates and allowances, which is good news for those saving into a pension.

ISA (Indiv…

Pension Scam Tactics

Cold-calling is currently by far the most common method used to initiate pension fraud. Other scam tactics include:

Unexpected contact about a pension via phone, post or emailPromises of guaranteed high returns and downplaying the risksOffering unusual or overseas investments that are not regulated by the FCA, such as overseas hotels, forestry and green energy schemesPutting people under pressure to make a quick decision, for example with time-limited offers and sending a courier round with paperwork to signClaiming to be able to unlock money from an individual’s pension (normally only possible from age 55)
We recommend you reject unexpected pension offers – whether made online, on social media, through the post or over the phone. Contact us if this happens and after running through security we will endeavour to help.

Who are the European Financial Planning Association (EFPA)

Independent Financial Advisers in our firm are members of the Personal Finance Society (PFS). Following a mutual recognition agreement with the European Financial Planning Association, PFS members have now been granted EFPA European Financial Adviser (EFA) certification.

EFPA is one of the largest and most respected professional licensing, standard setting and certification bodies for financial advisers in Europe and was the first European financial standards association created to increase professionalism in the European financial services sector. EFPA UK is represented by the Personal Finance Society. It now accredits more than 60 European universities, banking and insurance institutes.
Why now? This agreement will ensure that consumers who wish to access advice from UK advisers, or maintain existing relationships in a post-Brexit environment will be able to do so as part of an all-embracing standard across Europe.
What are the benefits of this agreement? This agreement combines the…

The need for Diversification

Remember the interest on some NS&I products is potentially taxable

Some NS&I products pay returns that are free from income and capital gains tax. These include:

cash ISAspremium Bondsfixed Interest and Index-Linked Savings Certificatesjunior ISAs
With regards to Guaranteed Income Bonds, Guaranteed Growth Bonds, Income Bonds, Direct Saver and Investment Accounts, the returns are taxable but paid ‘gross’ (without tax taken off).

If you’re a UK taxpayer, you have a duty to declare the income to HM Revenue & Customs and pay any tax you owe. Please keep your NS&I annual interest statements and speak to us or your accountant. You should know that tax may change in the future.

To transfer or not to transfer?

More than 100,000 people transferred out of Defined Benefit (DB) pensions in 2017/18[1]. A DB pension scheme is one where the amount you’re paid is based on how many years you’ve worked for your employer and the salary you’ve earned. The figures show that a large number of people are still transferring out of traditional salary-related pensions, but whether this is a good idea or not depends crucially on your individual circumstances.

For many people, a guaranteed salary-related pension that lasts as long as you do and is unaffected by the ups and downs of markets, is likely to be the best answer. But there will be some who want extra flexibility or are focused on passing on some of their pension wealth for whom a transfer might be the right answer. It is vital to take, and listen to, professional financial advice in the form of pension transfer specialists before making a big decision of this sort.
Five reasons why a pension transfer might be suitable
Flexibility – instead of taking a…