Participating in a wider range of investments

Unit trusts are collective investments that allow you to participate in a wider range of investments than can normally be achieved on your own with smaller sums of money. Pooling your money with others also reduces the risk.

10 ideas served up to help you maximise your pension provision

It’s important to review your pension planning regularly to make sure it still meets your specific requirements. Over time, your circumstances may have changed, so we have provided ten areas that, if appropriate to your particular situation, should be reviewed.

Encouraging more people to save towards their retirement

The Government’s flagship scheme to encourage more people to save towards their retirement is well underway – but there’s still a distance to go.

Reviving consumer spending and economic growth

Since the global financial crisis, both the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve have used the policy of quantitative easing (QE) to try to revive consumer spending and economic growth.

Providing you with increased simplicity and greater flexibility

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) have been around since 1999, providing a tax-efficient wrapper for savings and investments. However, in the recent Budget, the Chancellor, George Osborne, promised to increase the simplicity and flexibility of ISAs. As of 1 July 2014, there is now a single ISA which has been named the new ISA, or ‘NISA’, which provides a bigger tax break than ever before and more flexibility about how it can be used.

Achieving the right balance of cash, fixed income and equities

How you choose to allocate your wealth between different asset classes will be one of the most important investment decisions you ever make. Asset allocation can account for the majority of your portfolio returns over the long term, so it’s essential that you achieve the right balance of cash, fixed income and equities in your portfolio.

Withdrawing income without prematurely depleting your portfolio

Investing for income is not simply about establishing a portfolio of income-generating investments. It is also about the strategies you use to withdraw income from this portfolio.

Review our financial fitness checklist to see how we can help you make more of your money

Utilise personal pension tax relief

When you contribute to a registered pension scheme, you automatically receive basic rate tax relief on your contributions. Your personal pension tax relief depends on your circumstances. These are the current UK pension tax relief rules for the 2014/15 tax year, so don’t miss out.

Make sure your pension is on track to grow enough to support you in retirement

Do you know how much your pension is worth? Do you know how many you have or where they are? How about the type of funds they’re invested in or how much risk is involved?

Taking centre stage in the Queen’s Speech

This year is best described as the year of the pension. After grabbing the headlines following the Chancellor’s Budget 2014 speech, pensions were once again top of the agenda. In an 11-bill programme, pensions took centre stage, with major changes to annuities and workplace schemes also announced.

Why reviewing your level of life insurance is time well spent to ensure you look after their future

May 2014 marked the 253rd anniversary of the first life insurance policy being issued in the USA. Life insurance protects your family and anyone else who may depend on you for financial support. If you die prematurely, the people who are dependent upon your income could lose that financial support, which may leave them having to fend for themselves.

Helping you to understand the increased flexibility and choice available to you

The Budget announced unprecedented flexibility and choice in how people can use their pension savings in the future. From 6 April 2015, people over 55 can choose to withdraw their pension savings as they wish, although this will be subject to their marginal rate of income tax in that year.

New freedom could still prove costly

The Budget 2014 announced unprecedented flexibility and choice in how people can use their pension savings in the future. From 6 April 2015, people over 55 can choose to withdraw their pension savings as they wish, although this will be subject to their marginal rate of income tax in that year.

Concerns a tax planning arrangement was being abused

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that new proposals for a single nil rate Inheritance Tax (IHT) band for trusts will not be applied to existing trust arrangements, where no further assets are added or variations made to that trust.

Keeping track of your retirement savings

Over the course of your working life, the chances are you’ll change jobs a few times, picking up different pension pots along the way.