Shopping around to get the best deal

When you decide to take benefits from your pension savings, you are not obliged to purchase an annuity and take your retirement income from the company that you hold your pension fund with.

How the landscape for retirement planning has changed

The government introduced new pension rules, known as ‘pension simplification’, that became effective from 6 April 2006 (A-Day). This completely changed the pension landscape by creating a single universal regime that replaced the previous eight tax regimes.

A guide to understanding some of the basic terms used

Figures show higher savings ratio

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published figures that show households are saving the biggest proportion of their incomes for six years.

Did you know?

If you are over 65, you should check you are getting the correct personal allowance. The allowance for the 2009/10 tax year is £6,475, but if you were aged 65 to 74 on April 5 2009 it is increased to £9,490. If you were aged 75 or over on April 5 2008 the tax-free allowance stands at £9,640.

Considering your options

Corporate bonds are a type of fixed interest security. A fixed interest security is a way of ‘lending’ money to a company in return for a fixed rate of interest over a set period. This type of investment is intended to provide you with a regular, reliable income.

Complex calculations mean there are a number of factors to consider

Divorce can create financial difficulties. The pensions of both parties in a divorce may be considered when the court decides what money goes where. If one spouse never worked, while the other built up a large pension fund, this will have to be taken into account and the calculations can be complex.

The earlier you invest, the longer your money is outside of the reach of the taxman

By investing earlier in the tax year, you could make sure that you are using your Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowance to its full advantage. The earlier you invest, the longer your money is outside the reach of the taxman and has the opportunity to work harder for you.

Investing for an income in a low interest rate environment

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 regularly as your requirements change. Another major consideration is your attitude towards risk for return and availability. This will determine which asset class you are comfortable investing in.

Do they have the potential to lead the recovery when the world economy begins to stabilise?

The term emerging markets appeared first during the 1990’s and is now widely used to describe countries not considered to be developed. Third World, lesser developed countries or under-developed countries. Developed meaning essentially the major European countries plus USA, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Have you had too much tax deducted from your wages?

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) owes hundreds of millions of pounds to as many as 4.5m British taxpayers after allocating them with incorrect tax codes.

Aiming to preserve your wealth and shelter it from the burden of higher taxes

Making sense of your planning objectives and finances requires even more time and effort in today’s constantly fluctuating economic environment.

Why astute investors are talking to us about taking control of their own investment decisions

Following the introduction of Pension Simplification legislation in 2006, Self-Invested Personal Pension Plans (SIPPs) have become more accessible to more sophisticated investors who require greater control over their pension planning and want greater access to different investment markets. They also offer excellent tax planning solutions, and in these current difficult financial markets provide for the appropriate investor the maximum amount of flexibility when planning for retirement.

Attracting investors’ for all the right reasons

Corporate bonds are a type of fixed interest security. A fixed interest security is a way of ‘lending’ money to a company in return for a fixed rate of interest over a set period. This type of investment is intended to provide you with a regular, reliable income.

It’s essential to talk

If you are having difficulty meeting your mortgage repayments or are worried it may become a problem in the future, you may wish to consider the following information.