• Pensions

    Beware new limit on pension saving: Over-55s already taking cash out can now put only 4,000 a year back in

    Over-55s already taking money from their pension can put only 4,000 a year back inControversial new rules will restrict the amount people can pay into their pension after they have started taking withdrawals.Over-55s who are already taking taxable money from their pension can now put only 4,000 a year back in, down from 10,000 last year.The change will affect around 3 per cent of over-55s, and is aimed at preventing people receiving a double tax break by withdrawing cash from their ...

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  • Pensions

    Pension annuity betrayal that left disabled widow Dawn a prisoner in her own home

    Three years ago, Dawn Smith fell down the stairs at home and was left disabled. Due to osteoporosis, the 73-year-old widow shattered bones in her feet, ankles and legs, and spent six months in a wheelchair.She now walks with a stick and is confined to the ground floor of her three-bedroom London home, where she s turned the living room into a makeshift bedroom.Dawn is desperate to use her pension for urgent home renovations that would mean she no longer has to sleep on a reclining chair, or rely on her daughter to help her wash by the sink.But like ...

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  • Pensions

    My husband died and I have 100k from his pensions - how do I get a decent income for my retirement? Steve Webb replies

    My husband died recently before taking his pension and under the new rules I get very little, which is disgusting considering he was a 40 per cent tax payer all his life and didn t claim a single benefit.Anyway, while investigating my options, by chance I discovered that I am no longer entitled to the full state pension myself, as the number of qualifying years has now increased.If my husband had not died, I would not have known this and I would have retired expecting full pension as per my last pension forecast statement. Why has the Government not written ...

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  • Pensions

    I'm paying into my work pension and won't retire for ages, can I relax? Five ways to check you're on track for retirement

    I pay into a pension at work and won t retire for ages. Can I not think about it for a few years or is there something else I should be doing? What should I check on and how often? Saving for retirement: How to ensure your pension keeps ticking along nicely during your working yearsRichard Parkin, head of pensions policy at Fidelity International, replies: Firstly, it s great news that you joined your workplace pension and have stayed in.Workplace ...

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  • Pensions

    Cut to pension tax relief for elderly savers who dig into their pots is back on - and applies to withdrawals from last April onwards

    A Government move to stop people recycling retirement savings to gain a tax advantage, which was put on hold due to the election, will apply from April onwards after all.Over-55s who dip into their pension pots are now only able to put away 4,000 a year and still automatically qualify for tax relief, rather than 10,000.A cut to the tax-free dividend allowance from 5,000 to 2,000 scheduled for April 2018 is also back on track after the Government announced plans to reintroduce the delayed Finance Bill later this year. [media_photo id="865152" height="423" width="634" alt="Tax changes: Measures put on hold due ...

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  • Pensions

    Do YOU know about the cash boost for your retirement? Half of workers are unaware of pension tax relief that can be worth thousands

    Half of workers are unaware the Government helps people save for retirement by not taxing pension contributions and could be missing out on free cash paid into their pension as a result, a new survey reveals.People who can afford to save higher sums might rake in tens of thousands of pounds of extra pension tax relief over their working life, according to calculations by BlackRock.Savers currently put aside around 2 per cent of their salary on average for old age, so anyone earning the UK average wage of 27,000 a year would get 5,400 from the Government in tax relief ...

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  • Pensions

    Three in four people fear being overwhelmed by care bills in old age - and most support a cost cap

    Nearly three out of four people are worried they won't be able to afford care bills in old age and almost the same amount support a cost cap, according to a new survey.Concern and confusion over social care costs were laid bare by the opinion poll, carried out shortly after the Conservatives unveiled a controversial funding proposal in the June election.The party's plan - dubbed a dementia tax by opponents - would swallow people's individual assets including homes down to a floor of 100,000. It was later downgraded to a consultation on a cost cap which is expected to happen ...

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  • Pensions

    Greater protection for savers using pension freedoms floated by watchdog over fears some could make poor decisions or face high fees

    Watchdogs are weighing up new protections for over-55s using popular pension freedoms, as many now cash in retirement pots early or move savings to drawdown plans without advice.New 'default' income drawdown plans and a cap to prevent people paying 'excessive charges' for them are being considered following a probe into the radical pension reforms launched in 2015.This found tapping pension pots early has become the new norm , with 72 per cent of pots accessed by people aged under 65, and most choosing to take lump sums rather than a regular income. [media_photo id="860094" height="376" width="634" alt="Pension freedom: Reforms have ...

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  • Pensions

    Scammers are flogging fake certificates 'exempting' employers from giving staff pensions at 58 a pop

    Fraudsters have duped dozens of employers into thinking they can avoid auto-enrolling staff into pensions by buying a fake 'exemption' certificate for 58.Pension watchdogs raised the alarm after hearing from employers who were flogged the worthless documents, and they are now investigating at least one company thought to be behind the scam.The auto-enrolment initiative begun in 2012 has made it compulsory for employers to sign up eligible staff to a pension and pay in 1 per cent of their salary unless people voluntarily opt out. [media_photo id="855321" height="388" width="634" alt="Pemsion scam: Employers are being duped into buying an auto-enrolment 'exemption' ...

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  • Pensions

    I want to take a quarter of my pension tax-free - can I do this all in one go or only in chunks? Steve Webb replies

    I am in the process of moving a defined benefit pension to another fund with a view to being in control of my money. My question is that I thought when it was moved I could take a chunk of cash 25 per cent tax free leaving the remainder invested?Then I read that for example if I took 20,000, 5,000 would be tax free and 15,000 taxable, or is this something else that follows later?My financial adviser seemed to think as I did that the former was correct. I was hoping to get a whole quarter of the fund tax ...

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  • Pensions

    Should the state pension be means-tested? Idea to cut payouts for retirees on incomes over 30k is floated

    The state pension should be mean-tested for retirees on incomes over either 45,000 or 30,000 to make the system fairer and more affordable, according to an academic study.Cuts in payouts to wealthy pensioners should be introduced gradually from 2019, because otherwise the state pension age will have to rise for everyone, it argues. Limiting the extent to which the better-off receive the benefit would allow the Government to delay state pension age increases and curb costs for the working population who must fund payouts, believes Paul Sweeting, Professor of Actuarial Sciences at the University of Kent. [media_photo id="840521" height="423" width="634" ...

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  • Pensions

    Should the self-employed be auto-enrolled to avert a savings crisis? Plan to divert 4% of business profits into pension schemes

    Self-employed people should be auto-enrolled into paying 4 per cent of their taxable profits into a pension to combat 'crisis levels' of undersaving for retirement, says a new report.An 'opt out' system - placing business profits straight into a pension scheme unless the owner objects - is being pushed for because only one in seven of the UK's 4.8million-strong self-employed workforce is doing this at present.That means many will simply be unable to afford to retire, warns the report by pension giants Aviva and Royal London. [media_photo id="837416" height="449" width="634" alt="Savings shortfall: Only one in seven of the UK's 4.8million-strong ...

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  • Pensions

    Pension tax relief is safe for now: Plans to scrap bung worth billions to savers kicked into long grass by Work and Pensions Secretary

    David Gauke: 'Idea of trying to reform pensions tax relief in the previous parliament was somewhat daunting'The threat of abolition or dramatic cuts to pension tax relief was lifted today by the new Work and Pensions Secretary, who said he 'wouldn't expect to see any fundamental changes in the near future'.An overhaul of the popular incentive, which allows everyone to save for retirement out of untaxed income, has dangled over the heads of savers since the Tory Government ...

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  • Pensions

    My partner and I are aged 79 - what happens with our pensions if we marry now? Steve Webb replies

    I have been living with my partner for many years. We are both aged 79. I get my pension in my own right, plus a bit extra from my former husband's NHS contributions.My question is would we benefit financially by marrying? He gets a basic pension as some of his working years he was self employed, but he was also employed by a company some of his working years.SCROLL DOWN TO FIND OUT HOW TO ASK STEVE WEBB YOUR PENSION QUESTION Wedding ...

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  • Pensions

    Don't delay pension cold calling ban and blocks on fraudulent pot transfers, Government warned by firms and campaigners

    The Government is being urged to crack on with a pension cold-calling ban and blocks on suspicious pot transfers to help combat devastating scams.Plans for potential new legislation were disrupted by the election, and went unmentioned in the Queen's Speech setting out the Government's new programme, sparking concern that key initiatives to thwart fraud are being delayed. 'We were relying on a new Pension Bill to address issues highlighted by the pension industry to give savers greater protection,' said Kate Smith, head of pensions at finance firm Aegon. [media_photo id="828746" height="420" width="634" alt="Call for action: A petition demanding a ban ...

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