• Pensions

    'Why did my pension fail to grow for 11 YEARS?!' Phoenix Life charges saver hundreds in fees on pot that hasn't budged from 15,333.96

    James Hawken: 'How are you legally allowed to take a management fee AND a huge exit fee having not earned a penny for me in years'A saver has not seen a penny of growth on his 15,333 pension pot for 11 years, while shelling out 2 per cent in annual fees.James Hawken, 48, condemned Phoenix Life for levying hefty charges on a pension with zero growth for years - and demanding a quarter of the fund if he moves it before he is 55.He is among hundreds of thousands of savers left out of pocket after taking out 'with ...

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  • Pensions

    I'm scared I will lose my pension because of the black hole in my scheme, should I take the money on offer and transfer out?

    The final salary pension scheme I'm in is in trouble because there's a big deficit. I'm wondering whether to transfer out, but is that a good idea? Pension worry: Should you leave your employer's final salary scheme if you think it's in bad financial straits?Tanya Jefferies, of This is Money, replies: Many final salary pension schemes are in deficit and it is understandable to be worried if the one where you work is underfunded.This doesn't necessarily mean your future pension is at serious risk though, as your employer is legally obliged to keep funding its final salary scheme for as ...

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  • Pensions

    I'm 33 and already have four company pensions - should I move them all into one and how do I do this?

    I have four pretty tiny company pensions having moved jobs a few times in quite quick succession.One has just over 5,000 in it and is invested by BlackRock in its own global equities fund. That s from an old employer so I no longer contribute to it.Two of them also from old employers are likely to have just a few hundred pounds in them and I ve got no idea where they re invested or how to get at them.I am also contributing to my company pension with my current employer. This is invested with Fidelity and I ve chosen ...

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  • Pensions

    Final salary pensions create massive gap in retirement incomes among baby boomers

    The retirement income gap between households with a private pension income and those without is growing, according to official figures.Office for National Statistics data shows that income has received an enormous boost from private and workplace pensions in the last 40 years.The ONS said between 1977 and 2016, the disposable income of retired households increased at an average annual rate of 2.8 per cent after taking into account inflation and changes to household composition. Boomers: Older people's income has received a massive boost from private and workplace pensions in last 40 yearsBy 2016, retired households with a private pension had ...

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  • Pensions

    My husband contracted out and my state pension payments have GONE DOWN since he died! STEVE WEBB crunches the numbers

    Please can you help me. My husband sadly passed away on 21 April this year. Since that time I have been advised by the Department for Work and Pensions that my state pension is to be reduced, as I have inherited his pre-1997 additional state pension and 50 per cent of his contracted out deductions.My husband was in receipt of a pension of 127.15 a week since 2016 and whilst his pre-97 additional state pension was less than his contracted out deductions he was not penalised for this and total payable was nil. State pension cut: Widow asks why her ...

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  • Pensions

    Get your state pension back on the RIGHT track: Millions of Britons are in for a nasty shock over their retirement income

    Workers aged 40 and over are being urged to obtain a forecast of their state pension to avoid huge financial disappointment when they reach official retirement age.It has never been easier to obtain this information. Nor has it been more important to act early to squeeze the best value from the state scheme.But many accessing their forecast will be shocked at what they find. Turning point: It pays to check your route to retirement and you could avoid huge financial disappointmentFLAT-RATE PENSIONA new state pension now applies to those reaching retirement it has been in force since April last year.This ...

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  • Pensions

    A 78 PER CENT fee to move a pension? Saver, 36, condemns Friends Life's 'scandalous' 477 exit penalty to transfer a 615 pot

    Russell Jones: Condemned 'scandalous' fee for moving an old pension potA horrified saver has discovered he faces a 78 per cent exit penalty to move an old Friends Life pension pot - exposing the large loophole in the Government's drive to stamp out excessive fees.Russell Jones, 36, was forced to abandon plans to merge a 615 pot with his other retirement funds after hearing Friends Life would wipe out most of its value by charging him an early surrender penalty of 477.In April, the Government banned exit fees on all new pensions and capped them at 1 per cent ...

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  • Pensions

    Are young pension savers taking TOO LITTLE risk? Low-cost NEST scheme steering twentysomething workers into cautious funds

    Younger savers are traditionally told to take greater investment risk as they build up a pension, and only ease off as they approach retirement or in old age.State-funded pension provider NEST has junked this conventional thinking, and puts its fledgling pension savers in lower risk investments unless they actively opt for more adventurous funds.NEST, set up as a low-cost scheme for employers needing to auto-enrol staff into pensions, hopes to deter young people from losing faith if they lose money in volatile markets. Safety first: Should young pension savers be guarded from market shocks?It also argues that investing cautiously in ...

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  • Pensions

    I'm trying to claim state pension credits for my disabled husband and it's a nightmare - can you help? Steve Webb replies

    My husband is permanently disabled. He has progressive multiple sclerosis and receives the full Disability Living Allowance.I have applied to get National Insurance credits for him, purely with the aim of protecting his state pension (he is 49).He worked as a sole trader - he was a freelancing sound editor. He has never worked PAYE. He worked until 2009. State pension credits: How do you apply successfully on behalf of a disabled person?It has been a nightmare to try to claim this. We do not qualify for Employment Support Allowance and we know that - but of course you have ...

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  • Pensions

    State pension age rise to 68 will cost fortysomethings 10k - but you can slash that loss by TWO THIRDS if you top up investments now

    Fortysomethings stand to lose around 10,000 due to the state pension age hike to 68 - but shrewd savers can cut that dramatically by topping up investments now.If you are in your mid-40s, it will cost you 3,340, or 21 a month if you set aside money gradually, to build up an extra 10,000 lump sum before you hit the new state retirement age. That assumes 5 per cent investment growth, net of fees, over 22 years.The Government announced last week it was bringing forward a rise in the state pension age to 68 by seven years. That means the ...

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  • Pensions

    The chilling new 'grooming' ruses pension scammers are using to steal your retirement nest egg

    Scammers are 'grooming' pension savers by giving them a script of what to say to get around company safeguards, warns financial giant Aegon. It believes scammers are claiming pension firms will try to block transfers because they just want to keep the money, which hampers sincere attempts to tip off people at risk of losing their life savings.Aegon says customers are repeating certain telling phrases and technical terms not in common use when they ring up and ask for pot transfers, and sometimes admit they were warned to ignore attempts to talk them out of it. Scam alert: New grooming ...

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  • Pensions

    Can we campaign for expats in France to get Winter Fuel Allowances back, as it was scrapped due to balmy overseas French islands? Steve Webb replies

    I live in Languedoc, France, where winters are often very cold and certainly colder than all of Spain.Recently we Brits in France lost the Winter Fuel Allowance as the French overseas territories were included in average temperatures calculations.The fact that it is hot all year round in the Reunion does not make my fuel bills any cheaper. Since Brexit, I have lost nearly 20 per cent of my income with the fall of sterling. Temperature difference: Languedoc in the South of France (pictured left) includes coastal towns but also extends into the Pyrenees mountains, while Reunion (right) lies far to ...

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  • Pensions

    NOW: Pensions exits regulator 'assurance' list after admin bungle in processing savers' money

    Workplace pensions provider NOW: Pensions has left a voluntary 'assurance' scheme operated by industry watchdogs after they raised concerns about the firm's administration and governance.But The Pensions Regulator stressed there was no suggestion savers' money was at risk, or that employers using NOW's services were not complying with duties to workers auto-enrolled into pension schemes.NOW admitted it was trying to sort out delays processing contributions from savers - an issue recently highlighted by This is Money after a reader's 4,000 retirement pot vanished for eight months, but was tracked down after our intervention. Savings plan: Government drive to auto-enrol all ...

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  • Pensions

    How much should you save for decent retirement? Young workers told, put 18 PER CENT of your salary into a pension

    Twentysomethings entering the workforce now need to save 18 per cent of their earnings into a pension to enjoy a comfortable retirement, a new report has found.The estimate is based on achieving an 'adequate' retirement income - 70 per cent of your average earnings over the course of your working life.But young Britons should aim to put away 20 per cent of their salary if they want the same kind of retirement as today's pensioners, according to think tank the International Longevity Centre UK. Financial challenge: Today's twentysomethings are told to put 18% of salary into a pension - while ...

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  • Pensions

    ED MONK: Hit middle age and saved nothing into a pension? Here's how a cash-strapped average earner can build a 116k pot from scratch

    How do you rescue your retirement if you've hit middle age and saved nothing into a pension yet?Ed Monk, associate director for personal investing at Fidelity International, says people in the squeezed middle can still retire with peace of mind about their finances.He explains how an average earner in their forties can build a pot of well over 100,000 - or even double that if they try a bit harder - over the next couple of decades. Life milestones: Get a job, buy a house, get married, have kids, buy a coffee every day AND save for a pensionGet a ...

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quotes

Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999