The reality of retirement affordability

New research reveals that one in three people could face hardship in retirement.  Source: Frontier Economics based on Scottish Widows survey data  The “cost of living crisis” is a phrase that is hard to avoid in any media. High inflation, stealthily increasing taxation and constrained earnings growth are an unwelcome combination that leaves few of […]

NICs deadline deferred, again

If you were planning to fill the gaps in your national insurance contributions (NICs) record by 31 July, you no longer need to rush or worry – you now have until 2025.  As is often the case with financial deadlines, publicity in the form of press stories and subsequent public awareness often arrive late in […]

31 July: an important deadline for pension provision

If you have gaps in your national insurance contributions (NICs) record, then 31 July should be marked on your calendar.  The introduction of the new state pension in April 2016 was one of the most significant reforms to state benefits in decades. If you did not reach state pension age before 6 April 2016, there […]

SPA increase to 68 deferred

The government has deferred its decision on when to raise the State Pension age (SPA) to 68. In the US drama series, The West Wing, the day before the parliamentary recess was referred to as “Take out the Trash Day”. On both sides of the Atlantic, this day marks an opportunity for the government to […]

The Budget surprise: changes to the pension tax rules

New measures affecting pension allowances announced in the March Budget could mean your retirement planning strategy needs to be reviewed. If Jeremy Hunt did produce a ‘rabbit-out-the-hat’ in his Spring Budget, it was the announcement of the effective abolition of the pensions lifetime allowance (LTA) from 2023/24. Since 2006, the LTA has been a cornerstone […]

The rising cost of retirement

How much income do you actually need in retirement? New research shows an increase that might surprise you.   In 2019, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) published research examining how much three different levels of retirement living standards would cost for couples and those living on their own. The three standards were summarised as: […]

2023 inflation forecast: the only way is down?

Inflation surged in 2022, but can it reverse in 2023?  Source: ONS, Eurostat, BLS. Forecasters of inflation were way off target for 2022. For example: In December 2021, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee said “CPI inflation was expected to remain around 5% through the majority of the winter period, and peak at around […]

2022 Investment wrap-up

In 2022, most of the world’s major share indices had their worst year since 2008, but the UK’s FTSE 100 was a star performer Index 2022 Change FTSE 100 +0.9% FTSE 250 -19.7% Dow Jones Industrial -9.2% Standard & Poor’s 500 -19.8% Nikkei 225 -9.4% Euro Stoxx 50 (€) -11.7% Shanghai Composite -15.1% MSCI Emerging […]

News – Winter 2022

The ‘triple lock’ increase to state pensions offers two important lessons.
In November’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced that the ‘triple lock’ would again operate on State pensions, meaning that from next April pensions rise by 10.1%, in line with the September 2022 rate of inflation. Mr Hunt applied the same increase to nearly all other benefits, a move with two important lessons for your own financial planning.