Should a pension be renamed severance pay?

October 16, 2014 Leave your thoughts Pension-or-severance-pay

What is a pension? Up to the end of 2013, most of us would have defined it as a regular payment that is made to a retiree for the duration of his or her retirement. It’s worth remembering that because the latest pension reforms, introduced by the Chancellor, and apparently amended on a daily basis, are taking the whole idea of pensions in a completely different direction.

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Taxpayer being steamrollered by pension electoral tactics

October 7, 2014 Leave your thoughts iStock_000010939193Large

Why have the government decided to distort the tax system by making pensions capable of being used as a device to avoid inheritance tax? The casual approach of the Treasury to pension strategy, with sudden announcements of ill-considered changes, shows a lack of coherent thinking behind the changes in the pension system. This has led to a lot of post-facto explanation and justification to try to cover up the lack of thought prior to the announcement.

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Latest pension changes undermine the case for pension tax relief

September 29, 2014 Leave your thoughts Inheritance-tax-death-tax

The Conservative Party has been heartened to hear that the Chancellor is responding to the attacks from UKIP with a straightforward appeal to the grey vote. He will announce to the party conference today that he is changing the tax rules that apply to income drawdown pots post the death of the pensioner; the so-called death tax that applies to the family who cash in the pension fund. From now on, this will only be taxed at the marginal rate, if the pensioner is over 75 when he dies and will not be taxed at all if the pensioner dies before that age.

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Actuarial Post: Technology can enable anything – including disaster

September 25, 2014 Leave your thoughts Technology-disaster

This article was originally commissioned for the August edition of the Actuarial Post. Power to the people! This, slightly paraphrased, ringing cry from Chancellor George Osborne at the budget is still reverberating through the world of pensions and the latest tremor comes from the Treasury. This is the news that […]

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Drawdown publicity campaign needed

September 18, 2014 Leave your thoughts Drawdown-Publicity-Campaign

Now that the Chancellor’s reforms have put annuities firmly in the doghouse, the question is what type of product is likely to be the most popular among those about to retire. The general industry mood reflected in the financial press seems to lean towards income drawdown style products as being […]

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Actuarial Post: Smart glasses will change the face of Protection

September 10, 2014 Leave your thoughts Smart-glasses

This article was originally commissioned for the July edition of the Actuarial Post. A colleague of mine recently decided to get a health check done. Having moved into his fifties, he decided that it was prudent to have a full M.O.T. physically and so enrolled for the process and was […]

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The Chancellor’s sophistry on pension reform is dangerous

July 22, 2014 2 Comments Pension-Money

Chancellor George Osborne was dismissive of the critics of his Budget 2014 pension reforms in an interview with the BBC this week. “It’s not my money, it’s not your money… We have to get away from the patronising view that the state knows best”. This is a subtle and attractive […]

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Guidance issue is key to pension reform success

July 17, 2014 Leave your thoughts Guidance-pensions-reform

Compared to most other countries, the decumulation sector in the UK is very sophisticated. A wide variety of decumulation options are in place to deal with longevity risk. The danger of outliving your money is the most severe risk faced by the public because when it impacts, the individual is […]

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Government is ignoring longevity risk with pension reform

July 8, 2014 Leave your thoughts OECD-critique-UK-Government

The OECD has made a diplomatic intervention to critique mildly the UK government’s abolition of the annuitisation rules for pensions. One does not have to be Sherlock Holmes to spot the clues that reveal that the OECD is actually aghast at the extent of the change. This policy runs against […]

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TechLife Exaxe Newsletter: May / June 2014

June 25, 2014 Leave your thoughts June2014-newsletter-feat

The May / June print edition of TechLife is now available online. TechLife is published every quarter and is filled with news, opinion pieces, white papers and information on legislative changes within the life and pensions industry in the UK and abroad. If you wish to receive a hard copy […]

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