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The Financial Services Compensation Scheme received 4,100 extra SIPP and pensions claims 2019/20 than it expected, resulting in increased cost of £3.9m.

Nearly half (47%) of 55 to 64-year-olds are unaware that deferring the State Pension can boost their retirement income significantly when they start to claim their pension benefits.

Many pension savers are missing this valuable ‘Financial Planning’ option when they retire, according to research from retirement specialist Just Group.

Deferring the State Pension payment can mean significantly higher state pensions with every nine weeks of deferral boosting income by 1% - equivalent to 5.8% more income for every 52 weeks of deferral.

However, just over one in 10 (12%) of those aged 65+ had deferred their State Pension with the figure higher among women (16%) than men (9%) and also higher among the semi-retired (22%) than fully retired (11%).

Just says with Coronavirus hitting financial plans many more could consider State Pension deferral to boost retirement income.

Stephen Lowe, Just communications director, said: “Deferring State Pension is an important option for the rising number of over-65s in good health and who plan to carry on working.

“It needs to be factored into people’s Financial Planning in the run-up to retirement so it is worrying that such a high number of people aged 55-64 don’t know that there is a degree of flexibility around when and how they take their State Pension.”

According to research by Just the appetite for State Pension deferral has waned in recent years with about 1m people currently receiving extra money as a result of deferral, about 25% fewer than the peak in 2004, according to Department of Work and Pensions figures.

With the full New State Pension rising to £175.20 a week from April, deferring for one year would result in

£10.12 extra a week – more than £526 a year.

Those who have started to receive the State Pension can defer payment once during retirement.

Most people tend to defer the State Pension for between one and two years but more than half defer for longer.

Among those who chose not to defer, 31% said it was because they wanted to stop working as soon as they could. A quarter (25%) said they would have had to defer for too long to make the weekly increase worthwhile.

How long after you were eligible did you defer starting to receive your State Pension?
Up to a year -15%
1-2 years - 31%
2-3 years - 26%
3-5 years - 19%
5-10 years - 8%

Source: Just Group


New research suggests that 1 in 10 over-55s (11%) have either accessed their pension early or plan to do so due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Complaints about regulated firms topped 6m in the second half of 2019, according to data published by the FCA today.

The FCA has ruled out - at least for the time being - a complete ban on short selling as it works closely with international regulators to ensure that financial markets remain “open and orderly.”

Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb has urged the Treasury to scrap or relax rules which will limit people’s ability to ‘rebuild’ their pensions when the Coronavirus crisis ends.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has reprieved Entrepreneur’s Relief from a predicted chop but cut it from £10m to £1m.

Defined benefit pension transfer values rose in February with Coronavirus fears spurring the rise, according to the XPS Transfer Watch Index, a monthly study of transfer values.

A record 77% of UK employees were in a workplace pension in 2019, according to latest ONS figures released today.

This compares to only 47% in 2012 when auto-enrolment began and is the highest membership rate for workplace pensions since 1997.

ONS says participation in occupational defined contribution (DC) pensions has grown in recent years to the extent that more employees have a DC pension than other type.

The youngest employees, those aged 22 to 29 years, have seen the most growth in workplace pension membership since 2012, rising from 31% of younger workers enrolled to 80% in 2019.

ONS says that in 2019, the gender gap in public sector pension membership disappeared. In the private sector a gap still persists with more men (77%) having a workplace pension than women (69%).

In 2019, some 78% of employees with DC pensions contributed at least 3% of earnings, up from 37% in 2018. ONS says this is likely mainly due to minimum auto-enrolment contributions rising.

Eleanor Levy, director of Marketing and Communications at NOW: Pensions, said: “It’s fantastic to see that 77% of UK employees are members of a workplace pension scheme, and auto enrolment is at its highest membership rate ever. However, more still needs to be done to ensure that everyone has the ability to save for a successful retirement.

“While DWP’s pledge to lower the auto enrolment age to 18 is a great start, we must ensure that we maintain this momentum and scrap the £10,000 auto enrolment eligibility criteria which is penalising those who simply don’t earn enough. This criteria disproportionately affects women who work part-time while they care for the younger and older generations.

“We are very supportive of Baroness Jeannie Drake’s family carer top-up, which will help approximately three million women, in addition to 300,000 men, to top up their pension savings whilst taking time out of work to be carers.”

Government-backed financial guidance body the Money and Pensions Service (MAPS) has appointed 11 leaders tasked with transforming UK financial wellbeing over the next 10 years.

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