• Pensions

    Will annuity rates recover in 2018? After years of decline a 'good Brexit' could boost pensioners' income, says industry expert

    Incomes from annuities have been in the doldrums for the last 10 years and are still at historically low levels, writes pensions expert Billy Burrows of financial adviser Better Retirement.However, there are signs that rates could finally start to increase in 2018 and their popularity grow once again.Annuities used to be incredibly popular. After all if you don’t have a final salary pension, they are the only retirement products that guarantee an income for life, with no risk of running out of money.  Retirement decision: Savers have shunned annuities in recent years in favour of staying invested and drawing down ...

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  • Pensions

    Why do my heirs only pay tax on my pension left to them if I die after my 75th birthday? Steve Webb replies

    Could you possibly explain to me the reasoning behind the tax law that allows pension monies to be claimed tax free by the heirs or beneficiaries of the pensioner if they die under the age of 75 but the monies become taxable if the pensioner dies after the age of 75?SCROLL DOWN TO FIND OUT HOW TO ASK YOUR PENSION QUESTION     Happy birthday: Your heirs have to shell out tax on your pension fund if you live beyond 75, but how did this rule come about?Steve Webb replies: To understand the rationale for the way pension pots are taxed on death, ...

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  • Pensions

    How to invest for the best returns in retirement: Reckless risk-taking or playing too safe can run your pot dry

    Many retirees are at risk of bungling their pension finances by falling into one of two easily avoidable traps, according to new research.A 'risk-averse retiree' who believes they are playing it safe by moving pension funds into cash accounts and a 'reckless retiree' who chases high returns are both at risk of running out of money in old age, says the study.Pension firm Royal London shows how easily you can fritter away a £100,000 pension pot in either of these ways, then explains how a 'rational retiree' with well-diversified investments has a much better chance of enjoying a comfortable retirement.SCROLL ...

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  • Pensions

    The Government is churning out wrong state pension forecasts - shouldn't they come with a warning? Steve Webb replies

    Millions of people get state pension forecasts from the Department for Work and Pensions, and rely on their accuracy when planning their finances in retirement.This week, a reader flags up a case where her husband's forecast was wrong, and calls on This is Money's pensions columnist Steve Webb to warn others their statements might be incorrect. Read full details of David and Kim Deabill's case and what the DWP said about the accuracy of forecasts here. State pension forecast: This is Money reader flags up case where a statement was wrong and asks for warnings to be addedMy husband asked for a state ...

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  • Pensions

    My wife wants to keep our house while I get my pension in divorce, but I need somewhere to live - what should I do?

    My wife and I are soon to have a 'clean break' divorce. Her lawyer is wanting me to sign over the house in its entirety that I have paid for all my working life in exchange for not touching my pension.My pension will not help me get my own property to live in until I retire as I would be too old to acquire a mortgage.If I offer her half my pension fund then she dies before I am in receipt of the pension, is that portion allocated to her lost to the government and not returnable to my pension ...

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  • Pensions

    Can my husband's ex-wife claim on his state pension, and would this reduce what he gets? Steve Webb replies

    My husband is in receipt of his state pension and I will receive mine in my own right in a few years’ time.His ex-wife won’t have enough contributions for a full pension so will she be able to make a claim on my husband’s pension? If she can, will this affect the amount that he receives?SCROLL DOWN TO FIND OUT HOW TO ASK YOUR PENSION QUESTION      Retirement finances: Can an ex-partner claim on your state pension, and would this reduce your payouts?Steve Webb replies: Under the state pension system as it existed until 5 April 2016, it was possible for ...

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  • Pensions

    I didn't seek a financial settlement on divorce because my ex-husband was threatening my life - can I try to get one now?

    I need to claim from my ex-husband's private pension. I am 64. I have been divorced since 1992 with no child support or divorce settlement due to domestic violence.He threatened my life. I had an injunction with the power of arrest until I was divorced. Pension sharing: Can you still make a claim against an ex if you didn't get a financial settlement when you divorced?Tanya Jefferies, of This is Money, replies: I am terribly sorry to hear about your situation. It is understandable that you did not try to get a financial settlement when you divorced, given the difficult ...

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  • Pensions

    Earning the UK average salary? You need a £300,000 pension pot to keep your standard of living in retirement

    A person on the UK average salary now needs to build up a pension pot of over £300,000 to be able to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement, analysis has shown.The study by Aegon assumes that people should be targeting an income equivalent 66 per cent of their working age income, which is £1,500 a month or £18,000 a year for the average earner.The state pension, at £691 a month, would therefore need to be topped up by £809 per month from private and workplace pensions to hit such a goal.  Old habits: To keep doing what you love might ...

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  • Pensions

    Millions of Britons suffer 'mid-life savings crisis' in run-up to retirement, with many having no clue how much they need

    Nearly a fifth of workers in their 50s and 60s are going through a 'mid-life savings crisis' in the run-up to their retirement.Millions of workers in this age group still have no idea how much they will need to save into their pension pot to be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Eighteen per cent are unable to save anything for their retirement, as the cost of living continues to rise and wage growth stumbles. In the dark: Millions of workers in their 50s and 60s have no idea how much they need to save into their pensionWhile some can't save ...

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  • Pensions

    Will it REALLY improve my retirement if I add another 1% to my pension contributions - or should I just enjoy the money now?

    Would it actually make any difference to my retirement if I added another one per cent to my pension contributions - or should I just enjoy it now? Upping contributions: How does the age you start saving and the amount you pay in each month affect your pension pot?William Burrows, retirement director at specialist adviser Better Retirement Group, replies: The quick answer to this question is ‘yes’. If you increase your pension contributions by just 1 per cent, for instance from 3 per cent of your salary each year to 4 per cent, you can expect to have a 33 per ...

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  • Pensions

    Will my father's second wife receive a widow's pension from the NHS? Steve Webb has the answer...

    My father and stepmother have been married for 30-plus years, a few years after my father's retirement from the NHS and the early death of my mother.My father is now very elderly and in poor health. My stepmother believes she will not receive a NHS widow's pension when he dies since it is a remarriage.This seems totally unfair, especially since she lost her own deceased husband's pension on marrying my father and would be left with nothing but the state pension. Widow's pension: What rights does a second wife have if she loses her husband?I have attempted to verify the ...

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  • Pensions

    Spend your pension pot last! We reveal the order to use savings in retirement to defend your cash from the taxman

    Hoard your pension and spend other available cash and investments first, to keep your money out of the taxman's clutches.That's the advice financial experts are dishing out to retirees worried about their heirs being landed with a big inheritance tax bill.But anyone who wants to minimise their annual income tax, or use up their capital gains tax allowance efficiently, might also benefit from running down assets held outside a pension first.Circumstances vary though, it must be stressed. So, it's best to take the following on board as useful general guidance, but to consult a professional about your own situation. Pension ...

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  • Pensions

    The 90,000 savers who could get payouts worth thousands after Pru and Standard Life were ensnared in annuity mis-selling scandal

    Some 90,000 pensioners could get thousands of pounds each in compensation after watchdogs caught Prudential and Standard Life mis-selling annuities to ill people.Payouts are expected to begin next year to people deprived of higher pension income despite having a medical condition - or their families if they have already died - according to calculations devised by regulators.Damning evidence that ailing people had been mis-sold annuities was uncovered and published a year ago by the Financial Conduct Authority, which probed seven firms and found 'a number' had engaged in 'particularly poor behaviour'.  Medical conditions: Savers in poor health are often eligible ...

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  • Pensions

    How will the interest rate rise affect your pension? What it means for annuities, work schemes and the state pension

    People with money stashed in savings will welcome today's interest rate hike to 0.5 per cent, but the move could have different implications for their pension cash.The rate rise was imposed to curb inflation, which could have fallout for state pensions in future.If you are still saving into a pension, on the verge of retirement, or have stayed invested during your old age, you will also be exposed to UK government bond market gyrations in reaction to the rise.  Influential market: UK government bonds are held as a form of ballast in many pension fundsState pensionsThe Bank of England's main ...

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  • Pensions

    Divorced women risk struggling in old age because seven in 10 separating couples don't discuss pensions leaving women thousands out of pocket

    Divorcing women could be forfeiting thousands of pounds of pension cash because more than two thirds of couples don't discuss the topic, a new survey reveals.Couples prioritise splitting property and savings and even who keeps the pets over pensions, although they are often the family's second most valuable asset after a home.Woman are most likely to be penalised, because they have about half as much saved for retirement as men - just £64,000 versus £125,000 on average, according to the Scottish Widows research - as pay inequality and taking time off to bring up children impede their ability to provide ...

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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