• 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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  • Pensions

    My state pension is made up of basic, Serps and graduated parts: why do they increase at different annual rates? Steve Webb replies

    My state pension has been paid since 2001 and is made up of basic plus Serps plus graduated pension.This currently gives me a larger pension in total than the new state pension.When annual increases are made, usually 2.5 per cent, my basic goes up by this figure BUT the other two parts sometimes increase by a smaller rate or none at all. Why is this so?SCROLL DOWN TO FIND OUT HOW TO ASK YOUR PENSION QUESTION        Annual increases: Why do all the various elements of the state pension rise at different rates?Steve Webb replies: There are certain laws about how much ...

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  • Pensions

    Pension pressure on Generation X as forty-somethings are set to live three years longer than baby boomers

    The line between work and retirement is becoming increasingly blurred as many Generation X Britons are likely to live longer and healthier lives than baby boomers, new research shows.Today’s 45-year-olds can expect to live three years longer on average than today’s 65-year-olds, with some of that extra time in better health, according to a new study by Fidelity International and the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.This means that Britons are increasingly approaching retirement age in good health - and therefore more able to work for longer too, the report says. It also means that those in their forties need to ...

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  • Pensions

    For a sunny retirement, go south! West Sussex is revealed as the best place for pensioners to live with good weather and low crime rates

    Boasting rolling fields, a colourful history and bouts of sunshine, West Sussex has been ranked as the most attractive place for a happy retirement, knocking Dorset from the top spot.The rural area in the south of England was lauded for having good weather, a low crime rate and a strong disability-free life expectancy, in Prudential's updated Quality of Retirement Index.The new analysis put affluent Dorset down to second place, while East Sussex, Devon and Norfolk were revealed as the other most attractive 'grey hotspots'. West Sussex has been revealed as the most attractive county for pensioners to live in, knocking ...

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  • Pensions

    Savers who cash in their pensions risk running out of cash in retirement after investing without taking advice

    Savers risk running out of money in retirement due to a surge in families investing their pension pots without advice, a top boss warns.Phil Loney, head of savings firm Royal London, said more retirees were putting their money into drawdown products with no understanding of the risks.Traditionally, savers used the money in their nest egg to buy an annuity which guarantees a set amount of income for life.But pension freedom reforms introduced in 2015 gave the option of spending cash with then-pensions minister Steve Webb even saying they were free to blow it on a Lamborghini car. Risk With annuities ...

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  • Pensions

    How do my wife and I avoid paying any tax on our 22,700 pension income legally? Steve Webb replies

    My wife and I receive the following state pensions: 6,223 a year for my wife and 10,804 a year for myself.I also have a SIPP (self-invested personal pension) from which I have previously taken the allowable tax-free sum. However, this SIPP can provide an additional income of 5,700 a year, giving a potential total income of 22,727 a year.Given that the current taxable personal allowance is 11,500 a year, what options are there for us to legally avoid paying any tax?Are we able to share each others taxable allowances? If possible, how do we go about it? We are both ...

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  • 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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