General Election 2017: How will it affect your personal finances?

The answer to that question depends on two things; the outcome of the election and how you react to the inevitable instability it will cause. At this early stage, the most likely outcome seems to be a Conservative victory, with an increased majority. At least that’s what a certain Mrs May, of Number 10 Downing Street, has gambled on. Logically, if this is the case, Mrs May, and the Chancellor Philip Hammond, will be emboldened to drive through changes to domestic policy, whilst negotiating Brexit. Of course, even if it looks unlikely right ...

Shock National Insurance U-turn

In a shock move, that will come as a pleasant mid-week surprise to many, Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that the government will not proceed with the increase in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed. The main rate of Class 4 National Insurance contributions, applicable to the self-employed, was to be increased from 9% to 10% in April 2018, and then to 11% in April 2019. The pressure being applied to the government during the last week has clearly had some effect, with many saying that the increase directly broke the Conservatives’ 2015 ...

State Pension: Do you understand yours? Thousands don’t

Businessman Drawing Question Mark SignA new report has claimed that thousands of people do not understand how State Pensions are calculated and that they won’t be entitled to the full flat rate State Pension when it is introduced. The Works & Pensions Committee, led by veteran MP Frank Field, has said that 55% of people will get less than the £155.65 flat rate State Pension, mainly because of gaps in their National Insurance record. The Committee also said that "failures of communication mean that too few people understand it". The report comes after ...

State Pensions: Don’t miss the six month window to top up your State Pension

iStock_000007329749XSmallThe introduction, from 2016, of the new flat rate State Pension, will benefit millions of people retiring in years to come. Until now it was thought that people retiring over the next two years, or who are already drawing their State Pension, would miss out, but new proposals have revealed how these people will be able to top up their State Pension. The flat rate State Pension, also known as the single-tier State Pension, will be available ...