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 ...

Pensions: Does the Autumn Statement have a sting in its’ tail?

Large black scorpion Heterometrus laoticus isolatedLast week’s Autumn Statement was, by the standards set by George Osborne, pretty mundane. However, hidden in the speech, and the raft of documents issued by the Treasury afterwards, were subtle indications of where Government pension policy may head over the next few years. The changes, if they happen, could have a significant impact on your retirement and potentially cost you dearly. Triple lock The triple lock was introduced in 2010 and guarantees that the basic State Pension will rise in line with earnings, inflation, as measured by the ...

Pensions: Plans to change pension tax-relief shelved

A drawer cabinet with the label PensionPlans to alter the tax-relief given to people who make pension contributions have been shelved. Over the past few weeks, speculation has been mounting that George Osborne was planning a radical overhaul to the existing system of pension tax-relief, causing concern amongst many investors, all that now seems to have changed. How does pension tax-relief work? Currently, for every £80 paid into a pension, the Government adds an additional £20 through tax-relief. Higher rate taxpayers can claim back an extra £20, taking the net cost of a ...

Pensions: Tax-relief to be changed? The action you should take now

Multi-Ethnic Group of People and Action ConceptWith George Osborne’s Budget set for 16th March, speculation is rife that following a Treasury led enquiry into how pensions are taxed, the system of tax-relief, designed to encourage savers, could be set for a significant overhaul. Pension tax-relief Paying into a pension has long been a very tax-efficient way of saving for retirement, in no small part due to the top ups provided by the Government. This system means that for every £80 a basic rate (20%) taxpayer pays into a pension, the Government adds £20. A ...