Salisbury House Wealth – Daily Telegraph
Personal pension pots are becoming an increasingly important tool for passing on wealth from one generation to the next.
The amount of money inherited by the relatives of pensioners that die under the age of 55 rose by a third (33%) last year to as much as £2.1bn, up from £1.6bn in the previous 12 months.
Pensions have become a useful way to pass savings onto relatives IHT-free and have become an important part of inheritance planning.
The increase comes following reforms introduced in 2015 which allow for pension pots to be passed onto the next generation largely tax-free. Under the new rules, if the pension holder dies before the age of 75, a beneficiary can inherit some or all of the fund as a tax-free lump sum – up to the Lifetime Allowance of £1.25m.
Read more on this topic from Salisbury House Wealth in the Daily Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tax/inheritance/families-turn-pensions-avoid-death-duties/
Salisbury House Wealth – Sunday Express
The amount savers withdrew from their pensions pots through ‘income drawdowns’ increased 14% to £15.3bn in 2016/17, up from £13.5bn in 2015/16.
The amount withdrawn has increased 173% over the last five years, up from £5.6bn in 2012/13.
Income drawdowns enable savers to draw a regular taxable income from their pension pot. Many savers are increasingly drawing incomes, ad hoc withdrawals and lump sums from their pension early, before reaching retirement age.
Read more on this topic from Salisbury House Wealth in the Sunday Express:
ISA season – the mythical ISA millionaire is not so rare
This week saw the release of the ‘Wealth and Assets’ Survey from the Office of National Statistics that measures people’s attitudes to savings and retirement. It’s a pretty timely report as we are now entering “ISA season” when providers of Individual Savings Account (ISA) ramp up their advertising. It is also the time when many savers make one of their biggest investment decisions of the year – where they place their ISA allowance.
The Office of National Statistics research reveals that a generation of adults now doubt that cash ISAs are the best way to save for the future. Even though cash ISAs offer a tax-free savings account.
Confidence in ISAs has fallen. 7% of individuals now view them as the safest retirement strategy, down from 12% five years ago. This may be because cash ISAs now offer such low returns and why we are increasingly asking investors to see if share ISAs are right for them.
Having your money in a cash ISA while interest rates are low does little to help you save for retirement and can even mean you lose money when inflation is taken into account.
Stocks and Shares ISAs also offer tax free returns. History shows that over the long-term stock market returns has the upper hand over cash – offering better returns. UK equities have delivered an average annual return of 5% over the last hundred years compared to cash which has returned just 0.8%. * That is not too bad at all when consider that recent calculations by Fidelity International found that if you invest your entire ISA allowance every year then, at a 6% annual return, you could be an ISA millionaire within 22 years.
However, you need to be aware that, with a shares ISA, your capital at risk and, as recent events have shown, the stock market can be volatile.
Speak to us to establish exactly what shares ISA is right for you and your investment objectives.
*Barclays Equity Gilt Study 2016
Savers withdrew £15.3bn from their pensions pots last year – up 14% from £13.5bn in 2015/16.
The amount withdrawn has now increased 173% in the last five years, up from just £5.6bn in 2012/13, as a growing number of savers take advantage of rule changes to take control over their pensions.
These new pension freedoms have opened the door to the increased use of Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), a government approved scheme. A hybrid SIPP offers savers the flexibility to manage their investments and purchase property with their funds.
Savers are now better able to diversify their investments and gain exposure to other asset classes and risk profiles. However, it is important anyone drawing from their pension spends the money wisely and makes informed decisions.
Read more from Salisbury House Wealth on the topic in the Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/36ad9f6e-df2c-11e7-8f9f-de1c2175f5ce
The number of people earning over £250,000 has increased by 36% in the last five years – to 137,300 up from 100,700 in 2010/11*.
15% of these individuals (21,200) are under the age of 40. Rising total pay in the UK’s financial services and technology sectors is likely to be behind the trend.
This growing affluence, however, has a sting in its tail. New pension rules introduced in 2016 limit annual pension contributions for those earning £210,000 or more to just £10,000. So these high earners are finding the options to make highly tax efficient pensions savings much more limited.
Chancellor Philip Hammond could again target high earners in his upcoming Budget by further reducing pension-related tax benefits for the wealthy.
As pension savings opportunities for high earners become increasingly limited, it is important that they explore the other long-term savings options available to them.
This can help ensure that individuals that during their career have been relatively high earners have enough money to continue to support their lifestyles in retirement.
Read more from Salisbury House Wealth on this topic in The Daily Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tax/income-tax/hammond-expected-attack-higher-earners-stealth/
*Latest figures available are 2014/15
Savers are turning away from cash as an investment – new figures out today show that cash ISAs saw a 33% drop in amounts invested in the last year.
Investments in cash ISAs fell to £39.2bn in 2016/17, down from £58.7bn in 2015/16. The numbers subscribing to cash ISAs fell by 16% over the same period.
The fall is partly due to the low interest rates offered on cash ISAs which are now negative real interest rates – ultimately leaving savers in danger of their investments devaluing over time.
Savers are cottoning on to the fact that cash ISAs simply do not offer the investment value they need to achieve their long-term financial goals…
Read more from Salisbury House Wealth in The Independent and Money Expert - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/cash-isas-money-flow-drop-low-interest-rates-uk-bank-england-british-households-a7922426.html
High earning women are starting to gain ground on men, as the number earning £1million or more has doubled in the last five years to 1,400 in the most recent tax year up from 700 in 2010/11.
According to Salisbury House Wealth, women now make up 9.2% of £1million-plus earners, compared to just 7% five years ago.
The increase comes as diversity at the top rises up the corporate agenda and entrepreneurship amongst women has increased. There are now 1.6million self-employed women in the UK compared to 1.2million in 2011.
However, Salisbury House Wealth says that the recent furore over the BBC’s disclosure of its top earners’ pay, which revealed that many female stars are being paid far less than men, highlights that there is still much progress to be made on equal pay.
Read more in the Financial Times today.
Salisbury House Wealth research has revealed that there has been an 80% increase in tax levied by HMRC on savers who breached the Lifetime Allowance last year.
The amount collected by HMRC increased to £36m in 2015/16, up from £20m in 2014/15.
The Lifetime Allowance (LTA) represents the maximum amount of money that a saver can save in their pension pot before incurring an additional tax charge of up to 55%. The LTA was reduced to £1m in April 2016.
Salisbury House Wealth says that savers can avoid being charged for exceeding their LTA by closely monitoring their pension pot levels. This includes keeping track of investment performance – as well as contributions.
From the age of 55, savers can also start withdrawing from their pension pot early through the drawdown facility – but this alone is unlikely to solve the issue and needs its own consideration.
Salisbury House Wealth research has found that pension liabilities held by SMEs jumped 7.5% in 2016 – to £4.3bn.
The figures highlight how SMEs are struggling to fund their pension obligations.
They also highlight the risk that employees of SMEs face should their employer become insolvent. If this happens, employees’ retirement income could fall very short of expectations.
It is advisable that employees have in place a back-up plan – such as a personal pension – just in case.
Read more in the latest edition of the Mail on Sunday
The number of young-people earning more than £250k has increased 60% over the last year – Salisbury House Wealth explores the driving factors behind this trend in the Financial Times
The pro’s and cons of taking a defined benefit / final salary pension transfer is reviewed a little here
More women than men are investing in ISA’s and more are choosing to invest in stocks and share ISA’s as discussed in this article
Woman are at the sharp end of the pensions crisis, as new figures show that men have almost three times the amount of retirement savings.
Workers in their 50’s see biggest rise in £250k earners
Always worth reviewing the funds you hold in case you are being overcharged for under performing funds. Actively managed funds operate differently to passive funds and require more attention.
Pension contributions jumped by almost a 1/5th last year but the concern is that the self-employed are contributing up to 50% less. Some of the reasons are explored in this article
The number of under 30’s earning above £1m per year has jumped over a 1/3rd from 2015 – 2016 and some of the details are mentioned in these articles
Research compiled by financial advisory service Salisbury House Wealth found that some 400 under 30s have now reached the huge milestone, this is up from 300 in 2015.
The banks are still getting away with paying as little as 0.05% in interest on savings, new regulations are trying to improve the detail people receive so this trend ceases.