Stay-at-home mums missing out on pension equality

According to analysis by Royal London, as many as 50,000 stay-at-home mothers could be missing out on thousands in retirement income, due to changes made to the way Child Benefits work five years ago. What is happening? The change has meant that, in couples where one person earns over £50,000, the other is ineligible for Child Benefits, even if they are a stay-at-home parent. However, for stay-at-home parents, there’s more to Child Benefits than just money; they are also entitled to National Insurance credits, which are required to claim ...

Retirement planning: What matters to you?

Your retirement priorities will be different to the next person’s, but that’s not to say that there aren’t similarities in the things that we’re looking for when we finish working. Research from Scottish Widows has shown that the most-cited priorities for those planning their retirement finances are: Income (41%) Flexibility (40%) Passing on benefits (10%) Having control over investments (9%) Finding out what’s important Knowing what you want when you stop working comes easier to some than others. If you find yourself struggling, consider: What kind of lifestyle you ...

Q&A – What does the pension contribution increase mean for you?

 What is the contributions increase? Workplace Pensions are a form of Defined Contribution scheme. This means that the percentage of your earnings that both you and your employer add to your pension fund is unlikely to fluctuate from month to month. Until April, the minimum contributions for both you and your employer were 1% of your qualifying earnings. This has now increased to 2% for employers and 3% for you. A further rise is due in April 2019 which will see employers contribute 3% and your share will hit 5%. Who is ...

Annuities fall in popularity, but could they still be the right choice?

Annuities have undoubtedly fallen out of favour among new retirees, as 75% fewer people are choosing to buy one when they retire, since 2015’s Pension Freedoms reform. (Source: Association of British Insurers ABI) But is that truly because the new options are better? Not according to reviews from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who believe this drop could be due to the marketing of pension products, rather than individual suitability. What do Annuities offer? Naturally, Annuities are more suitable for some people than others, and whether you ...

Power of Attorney: Five steps to put your future decisions into the right hands

What happens if you are unable to make decisions about your care, finances and health? It can be a scary thing to think about, but by planning now, you will benefit from increased confidence and the knowledge that those issues are in trusted hands, should the time come. That’s where Lifetime Power of Attorney (LPA) comes in. LPA gives the people or person named, the power, to make decisions on your behalf, in situations where you are unable to make them yourself. This could be due to mental or physical incapacity. Setting up ...

Fed up of low interest rates? Make your money work for you

Where do you keep your money? In a savings account, ISA or maybe in a box under your bed? No matter where you keep your savings, if the interest rate is below inflation (which almost all of them currently are) then the buying power of your savings will gradually decrease. Your savings are losing value. Why interest rates matter 65% of UK adults do not know the definition of an interest rate, according to research from Money Supermarket. Meanwhile, 57% do not know the current Bank of England (BoE) base rate ...

NS&I slash interest rates for Guaranteed Growth and Income Bonds

Just three months after launching Guaranteed Growth and Income Bonds, National Savings and Investments (NS&I) have announced that new savers will now see lower interest rates. Who are NS&I? NS&I have offered financial products for over 150 years. They are a popular provider, with over 25 million customers investing more than £147 billion. NS&I are backed by the Government, and as such, customers benefit from a 100% guarantee on their savings, while other banks and building societies are covered by the Financial Services ...

Lack of financial safety net causes problems for renters

38% of renters say that they would not be financially secure if their main household income was suddenly lost. For most people, not being able to pay rent is their biggest housing worry. According to Scottish Widows, more than half (51%) of people are kept awake by the thought of unexpectedly losing their household’s main income. Other concerns include:     Paying high rent (46%) Property issues, such as mould (36%) Unprofessional landlords (39%) Being forced to commute (26%) Living alone (21%) Given the severity of those concerns, it seems ...

Taking debts into retirement: Pensioners shell out £285 each month in repayments

One in five people who expect to stop working in 2018 will do so saddled with an average of £33,900 in debt. Research from Prudential shows that between 2017 and 2018, the average number of people entering retirement with overhanging debts has decreased. Unfortunately, the average amount owed by each has doubled over the past two years. This comes at the same time as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published their concerns about the upcoming rise in mortgage repayments, which could leave millions of people ...

NS&I puts Guaranteed Growth and Guaranteed Income Bonds back on sale after eight years

NS&I stopped selling Guaranteed Growth and Guaranteed Income Bonds in 2009, but they have recently announced that the one-year and three-year Bonds are available to the public once more. Eligibility The fixed-rate Bonds are available to people who are:   Aged 16 and over Investing a minimum of £500 and a maximum of £1 million Bonds can only be purchased online, through the NS&I website, although they can be managed via post, telephone and online. It is possible to jointly purchase these Bonds with another person, however, only the first named person will receive postal statements. The ...
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