Bookmark Us
Comment and Blogs
It doesn't seem possible that it is 30 years since the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, stood to deliver his Budget on 14 March 1989. The immortal words ‘I propose to make it easier for people in personal pension schemes to manage their own investments’ led to what is now the self invested pensions (SIPP).
Automatic enrolment (AE) has, by and large, been a success story. Opt outs have been fewer than predicted and the 10 millionth employee has been auto-enrolled, according to figures recently released by The Pensions Regulator (TPR). It’s also been good to see TPR getting their teeth into a few unscrupulous employers that have flouted the rules to show they mean business.
We recently saw the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issue a policy statement in response to the consultation it carried out in June 2018 on retirement outcomes. As part of the consultation exercise, the FCA engaged with SIPP providers and the industry body AMPS, among others.
It’s the time of year when all good advisers will be talking to their clients about making the most of any unused allowances, and this will often include using the annual allowance (AA) for pension contributions. But are there times when the advice should actually be NOT to use it?

As the Chair of AMPS, I dread the day that the Financial Ombudsman Service complaints data is published.

As the last of the mince pies are eaten and the decorations all taken down, thoughts turn to what 2019 will bring for the SIPP market. While SIPPs received a lot of negative attention in 2018, advisers and their clients still see the benefits of investing in this tax efficient way.
2018 has been a quiet year in the world of pensions - no seismic changes or hacking of allowances makes for welcome relief.
The basic premise on contributions made to pensions is that once the money has gone in, you can’t get it out again until you reach retirement age (or earlier ill health or death). There are very few circumstances when exceptions can be made, and if a refund is made other than as permitted by HMRC, then it would be classed as an unauthorised payment with charges totalling up to 70% of the amount refunded.
So it was with bated breath that Chancellor Philip Hammond stood to deliver his November Budget speech. Rumours has been swirling for weeks that pensions could be hit with changes to taxation. It was suggested that this would be to pay towards the NHS deficit among other things. It was with great relief that when he sat down and we reviewed the actual Budget papers that this was all just speculation and there was little impact. This can only be a good thing as any meddling impacts the distrust that consumers have for the pensions system and makes it difficult for advisers to plan for the long term with clients. How many times have we heard that PCLS or tax-free cash as it is more commonly known will be scrapped? Every Budget for as long as I can remember.
With September’s CPI figures now being released we know what next year’s Lifetime Allowance (LTA) will be - £1,054,800. Whilst hardly a dizzying increase we are at least crawling in the right direction after years of being pegged back. I get a few surprised looks when I remind people that the original version of Finance Act 2004 included a clause that the standard lifetime allowance could only increase.
Page 1 of 12

News from Twitter