Faith Glasgow

70% of investors have never switched platforms, despite chance to cut costs

Platforms are not doing nearly as much as they could to ensure investors know what they are paying for their investments – and as a consequence only 30% of Isa investors have ever moved to a new platform, according to new research from platform consultancy the lang cat.

The research found that only 54% of respondents across all age groups even know what they are paying to hold their investments on their chosen platform, though those aged 55 plus are almost twice as likely to be aware of charges as those aged 18 to 24.

Pensioners on course for state pension increase well ahead of inflation

Pensioners are set to see a 4% increase in the state pension in October, more than double the current inflation rate of 1.7%.

Under the “triple lock” rules for state pension increases, the state payout will rise by whichever is the highest of consumer price inflation (year to September), earnings growth (year to July), or 2.5%.

Editor’s Comment: what investments are good for the next 40 years?

How times change. It’s hard to believe that 40 years ago, when Money Observer was first published, Margaret Thatcher had come to power months previously, Franco’s era in Spain had ended only four years earlier and the UK had just three television channels. On average, men at state pension age lived for just five years (now it’s more than 14) the average price of a home was just under £14,000 and a pint of milk cost 15p.

FCA pension figures show retirees following high-risk strategies

The latest retirement income market data published by the FCA reveals that 645,000 pension plans were accessed in 2018/19, of which 55% – 355,000 – were fully withdrawn. Just 11% of plans were used to buy an annuity.

Of those pots that were fully withdrawn, 90% were valued at less than £30,000. Meanwhile, among retirees taking a regular income from their pension, 40% were taking out cash at unsustainably high withdrawal rates of 8%-plus.

Supreme Court decision: what could it mean for investors?

The Supreme Court ruled today (24 September) that the prorogation of Parliament by prime minister Boris Johnson was unlawful, meaning that Parliament will sit again tomorrow (25 September).

Sterling has strengthened this morning against the US dollar and the euro on the indication that a no-deal Brexit is now considerably less likely as the government as failed to restrict Parliament’s input into the process.

Editor’s Comment: our new look Money Observer magazine

This is a big year for us at Money Observer: the upcoming October issue marks 40 years since the magazine’s launch as a quarterly supplement to The Observer broadsheet. To ensure it stays trim, youthful and fully on the ball going into its fifth decade, we felt the run-up to encroaching middle age was a good time to take stock and undertake something of a makeover.

Five million savers in danger of losing retirement funds to scammers

New research from the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pension Regulator suggests that 42% of people investing for retirement – amounting to five million people across the UK – are at risk of being conned out of their pension by scammers using a range of tactics.

Alarmingly for Money Observer readers, the research shows that those who consider themselves to be financially astute are just as likely to lose money to these schemes.