The latest figures from the government show that in the period from July to September 2018, more than £38 million was reclaimed by more than 18,000 pension savers who had been charged too much tax when they made pension withdrawals. The average repayment by HM Revenue & Customs for this period was more than £2,000.
Higher earners with incomes approaching £50,000 have been dealt a backhanded blow by chancellor Philip Hammond in the Budget small print.
In yesterday’s Budget, he announced that the basic (20%) rate tax threshold will rise from £11,850 to £12,500 and the starting level for higher rate (40%) tax will increase from £46,350 to £50,000 in April 2018.
The chancellor stopped short of major pension changes in his Budget speech, but the small print holds several significant pension announcements.
There was little or no mention of the P word in chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget speech this afternoon (29 October). Pension allowances and tax relief were left well alone.
For the past two decades or so, as final salary schemes have declined and it has become increasingly clear that the state pension alone will be barely enough to scrape by on, we have been exhorted by the powers that be to take control of our own financial destiny.
The 10-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which precipitated the global financial crisis in mid-September 2008, has provided a great opportunity for the financial services industry’s statistics geeks to wheel out some impressive figures demonstrating the power of long-term equity investment to dull the pain of market crashes – and the extent of people’s capacity to be wise after the event.
August was not an easy time for the FTSE 100 index: it fell 4.1 per cent over the month and as a consequence is now down almost 5 per cent over 2018 to date.
Historically, the summer sees low trading volumes which can contribute to volatility, but it was exacerbated by geopolitical concerns such as the continuing trade standoff between the US and China and troubles for the Turkish and Argentine economies.
The Lifetime Isa (Lisa) has been surrounded by controversy ever since its adoption in April 2017. It’s the seventh member of the Isa family, and one that appears to have been set up specifically to squabble not only with at least one of its siblings, but also with its pension cousins just down the road.
We have run queries on the letters pages of previous issues of Money Observer from readers concerned about the safety of the investments they hold on broker platforms in the event of their broker going to the wall. We’ve reassured them that rules set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) mean their funds (and cash) must be held in a separate nominee account that cannot be raided by a broker or its creditors if the firm goes out of business.
Pensions data from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for 2017 reveals that the total value of savings into workplace pensions rose by £4.3 billion over the year, to £90.3 billion.
Overall, 84 per cent of eligible employees took advantage of a workplace scheme in 2017, up from 77 per cent in 2016, as pension auto-enrolment was implemented by a growing number of employers.
Passwords. We all know they have to be there to keep the data we put online safe – but everyone hates them, and as more and more aspects of our lives have become digitally governed, the problems they bring have got worse. Not only do we need them for growing numbers of accounts, but there’s increasing pressure to make them more secure by introducing kooky characters or making them longer or more random.