Shopping around for the annuity that best suits your needs

An annuity is a regular income paid in exchange for a lump sum, usually the result of years of investing in an approved, tax-free pension scheme.

Waiving all or part of your salary in return for a preferential sum

In the context of retirement planning, salary sacrifice (sometimes known as ‘salary waiver’) is a contractual agreement to waive all or part of your salary in return for your employer contributing a preferential (equivalent) sum into your pension plan.

Investment opportunities when interest rates are low

If you are an income-seeking saver in search of good returns from your savings in this low interest rate environment, we can provide you with the professional advice you need to enable you to consider all the options available. In addition, we can help you determine what levels of income you may need and work with you to review this as your requirements change. Another major consideration is your attitude towards risk for return and availability. This will help to determine which asset classes you are comfortable investing in.

The key points at a glance

The key points at a glance from Chancellor Alistair Darling’s third Pre-Budget Report.

Protection for the unexpected

Critical illness policies are the type of policy nobody wishes to have to claim against, yet evidence shows that these are vitally important policies that can support families and secure their financial wellbeing during the worst of times.

Start the new decade with a new bill of wealth

At every stage in our lives, there are certain circumstances that stand out as important, but it is all too easy to put off planning in our earlier years. We have highlighted some of the important stages in life and the circumstances you might find applicable to your particular situation.

Act fast before the end of the tax year

Here are some useful hints that may improve your pension prospects.

Some employers may allow selected staff aged 50 and over (rising to age 55 and over from 6 April 2010) to claim an income from their pension while they work full time. This option has been made possible by changes to pension rules in 2006, known at the time as A-Day. For members of defined benefit schemes, the size of the annual pension payment is cut by a certain percentage for each year the worker claims their pension early. However, members continue to accrue further pension rights under the plan, which is typically based on career-average pay, even when claiming a pension and salary in tandem.

Are you too optimistic about the age at which you’ll be able to retire?

Just a third of people accept that they will have to work beyond 65, even though the state pension age is set to rise.

Why you should review your retirement options

Apathy and a failing system is costing pension savers dear, with retirees set to lose £14m this year on not hunting out the best annuity. If this inertia continues, it will cost Britain’s pensioners a total income of £3.3bn over the next 20 years, according to the study by Oxford Economics, carried out on behalf of trade body, the Pension Income Choice Association (PICA).

A popular and simple way to save

The end of the 2009/10 tax year is rapidly approaching and now is the perfect time to consider your Individual Savings Account (ISA) options. These tax-efficient wrappers are a popular and simple way to save, as you don’t pay any personal income tax or capital gains tax on any profit you may make.

Achieving the most efficient mix of risk and return

Do you currently have the most suitable method of holding and structuring your investments to achieve an efficient mix of risk and return that is specific to your particular objectives? And are you fully utilising the income, capital gains and inheritance tax advantages of these investments, particularly as the taxation regime governing them may be subject to change in the future? We have provided a selection of tax-efficient solutions you may wish to discuss with us.

Making the right informed decisions is the key

We provide solutions for the diverse needs not just of our wealthy clients but also of those who aspire to become wealthy, enabling each individual to structure their finances as efficiently as possible.

Managing the risk that could ultimately threaten your company’s profits

A vital part of any business is the people who work there. But what if something happened to one of the key personnel in your business, for example, if an important member of staff died unexpectedly or became unable to work due to a serious illness. This could have a considerable impact on the core operations, sales and profit of your business.

Facing up to the reality of not having saved enough

Around 55* per cent of people said they were either currently not saving enough or they had to face up to the reality of not having saved enough into a pension in the past, according to insurer Friends Provident.

Have you taken advantage of topping up your tax-free savings?

If you are aged 50 or over, from 6 October your Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowance increased by a further £3,000 to £10,200; £1,500 of this increase can be saved in a cash ISA.