Pension shortfall exposure

Signs you are not financially ready to retire

Those potentially most exposed to a pension shortfall are not people just entering the workforce, most of whom presume they will work until their 70s and will receive limited support from the state. Those most at risk of enduring a more frugal older age are those currently in their 40s and 50s who grew up assuming that the pensions system their parents enjoyed – generous income and retirement in their mid-60s – was the norm.

Boosting investment returns

Out of adversity comes opportunity

Under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Government has toughened its stance on a no-deal Brexit, which it has said is ‘now a very real prospect’. 23 June marked three years since the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Taxing times ahead

Don’t be penalised by the tax system when you exercise your freedoms

The ‘pension freedom’ reforms of 2015 were welcomed by consumers, as they vastly widened options available to most savers at retirement. Pension freedoms allow savers to have the flexibility on how and when to spend their money without being penalised by the tax system, but it is worrying that some individuals plan to withdraw more than the tax-free lump sum limit.

Financial support

Looking after your lifestyle during a time of uncertainty

Nobody wants to worry about how they’ll pay the bills if they become sick or injured and can’t work. But illness or injury can strike at any time and can lead to serious financial trouble. The latest government figures[1] report the dramatic increase in the likelihood of long-term sickness absence when we age, leading to an employment absence of four weeks or more.

Inheritance Tax

How do you leave a legacy which serves your family’s best interests?

Will you be one of the thousands of households in Britain that will have to pay Inheritance Tax? What’s the best way to avoid it? If you’re administering an estate because someone has died, how do you obtain probate? Is it ever possible to retrospectively minimise an estate’s tax liabilities?

Residence nil-rate band

How to apply the additional threshold

The Inheritance Tax residence nil-rate band (RNRB) came into effect on 6 April 2017. The RNRB provides an additional nil-rate band where an individual dies on or after 6 April 2017, owning a residence which they leave to direct descendants. During the 2019/20 tax year, the maximum RNRB available is £150,000. This rises in £175,000 in 2020/21, after which it will be indexed in line with the Consumer Prices Index.

Making financial gifts

Passing on your assets effectively whilst you’re alive

Some people like to transfer some of their assets whilst they are alive – these are known as ‘lifetime transfers’. Whilst we are all free to do this whenever we want, it is important to be aware of the potential implications of such gifts with regard to Inheritance Tax. The two main types are potentially exempt transfers (PETs) and chargeable lifetime transfers (CLTs).

Making a Will

Secure more of your wealth for your loved ones

If a person wants to be sure their wishes will be met after they die, then it’s important to have a Will. A Will is the only way to make sure savings and possessions forming an estate go to the people and causes that the person cares about. Unmarried partners, including same-sex couples who don’t have a registered civil partnership, have no right to inherit if there is no Will. Another of the main reasons for drawing up a Will is to mitigate a potential Inheritance Tax liability.

Trusts

How to give away your wealth and keep some control

Trusts are not a one-size-fits-all solution, but they are incredibly useful for protecting and giving you control over your assets. Appropriate trusts can be used for minimising or mitigating Inheritance Tax estate taxes, and they can offer other benefits as part of an integrated and coordinated approach to managing wealth.

Lasting power of attorney

Allowing someone to make decisions for you, or acting on your behalf

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) enables individuals to take control of decisions that affect them, even in the event that they can’t make those decisions for themselves. Without them, loved ones could be forced to endure a costly and lengthy process to obtain authority to act for an individual who has lost mental capacity.