pensions

Grandparents save families £6,600 a year in childcare costs

Seven out of 10 mothers considered not returning to work because of childcare costs, despite nine in 10 wanting to, research from workplace pension provider Now: Pensions alongside the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) has found.

As a result, grandparents pick up the slack, saving working parents up to £22 billion a year in childcare costs in order to allow mothers to return to work.

The time that grandparents spend on filling childcare duties amounts to an average saving of £127 per week, or £6,604 saved every year in childcare costs for parents. 

Overtaxed retirees reclaim £3,000 each

In total, HMRC figures show £535 million has now been repaid to those who have filled out the official reclaim forms since April 2015, when pension freedoms were introduced and over-55s could draw on their money much more flexibly.

Pension freedoms gave savers the right to take any sum they wished from their retirement pot, but a quirk of HMRC’s system meant that they were often overcharged tax on their withdrawals.

Pension tax pain causing doctors to hang up their stethoscopes early

Complex pension taper rules introduced in 2016 are sending doctors to an early retirement, putting the NHS at risk of greater understaffing and leaving patients facing longer wait times.

Almost half (45%) of doctors surveyed by the Royal College of Physicians and its Scottish counterparts say that they have decided to retire younger, with 86% of doctors citing pension concerns as one of their reasons, 

Nine pension rules: true or false?

Being able to access your pension savings early can be a lifeline if you’re forced to retire early due to ill health. But more than half of Britons (57%) don’t know this is possible, a survey reveals. 

An even higher number (63%) don’t realise that self-employed workers get tax relief for pension savings, the research from the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) found. 

Four tax clever tricks that work a treat

There’s a raft of different tax breaks on offer in the UK, but a few are often overlooked by savers and investors. Using them correctly means you can reduce your tax bill and keep as much of your investment returns as possible. Here is a guide to some of the possible tips and tricks you could use (but speak to a financial adviser for proper tax planning advice).

Britons underestimating their life expectancy face retirement poverty

Britons underestimating how long they might live could end up in poverty when they retire, research reveals.

People are living five years longer than they think they might, and could end up facing an £80,000 short-fall in retirement savings, according to pension provider Scottish Widows.

The average life expectancy of UK adults saving for retirement is 87 years, yet the average adult expects to live until 82 and retire at 65.

This means that a typical retirement is 22 years longer than most people expect.

Auto-enrolment pension contributions need to exceed 8%, says minister

Guy Opperman, the pension minister, has confirmed he wants the minimum that employees pay into their workplace pension to increase beyond the current 8%, but said that the Pension Bill was not the place to trigger a rise.

At the launch of his Bill yesterday in Westminster, Opperman said that he also shied away from cutting the £10,000 auto-enrolment threshold, and changing tax relief rules that mean some lower paid workers miss out, until he saw the result of two contribution hikes.