20 September 2006
£2 billion of pension credits will remain unclaimed this year, with between 34 per cent and 44 per cent of pensioners failing to realise their entitlements, according to research from IFA Promotions.
Employers need to pay between 9 and 10 per cent into pensions schemes on top of employee contributions to close Britain’s £27 billion savings gap, says financial services consultant Mercer Oliver Wyman.
In my last few articles, I have been examining and discussing a number of issues which affect retirement planning decisions, or rather should affect them if clients are aware of the principles involved.
Underestimating life expectancy among their members could leave pension schemes with tens of millions of pounds of unforeseen liabilities, the Pensions Regulator has warned.
Firm claims other players are falling behind without CF8 qualification
Autumn may not quite be here but the evening light is beginning to fade faster and the summer holidays are well and truly over. Over the past six weeks, school leavers and university graduates alike will have been doing their fair share of thinking.
The first thing that people ask when you tell them you have written a book is rarely what the book is about. What they are usually interested in is how they can get their own book published. It is often said that we all have a book inside us. Getting the book out is not quite as complicated as you might have thought.
FSA chairman Callum McCarthy has joined the debate started by Ned Cazalet about life offices eating each other by paying big up-front commission and setting up a churners' merry-go-round.
This week by Lizzie Catt, Daily Express personal finance writerMonday is a heads-down day for us as we finish features and decide on news stories for Wednesday's section.
The critical-illness insurance marketplace is forever being characterised by two unflattering traits - that it fosters an ongoing price war and that it is starved of product innovation.
Payment protection insurance Britishinsurance.com managing director Simon Burgess says PPI providers and brokers must take heed of the recent regulatory action and improve their products and the sales process
After three months, the consultation period on the Government's White Paper on pension reform has now ended and there are many elements of the plans that provoke disagreement.
Asset allocation decisions for investors are implicitly and explicitly influenced by their attitude to the US. Wall Street is the biggest market, the US is the biggest economy and, courtesy of a high spending consumer, has been the dominant source of growth in economic activity - the catalyst of the recovery.
Recent research by leading independent analyst Laing and Buisson shows that private medical insurance is holding firm.
It looks as though the problems emerging with the proposed National Pensions Savings Scheme could delay reform for many years or could even see the NPSS go the same way as home information packs and just be dropped.
I have just been made redundant and social security want to know what pensions I can expect before it pays me any form of credit. I only have a few small pensions, not worth much, should I take them?
When it comes to investments, different clients have different needs. At one end of the scale are people who are willing to take a higher risk for greater potential returns. At the other end are people who will never feel safe in anything other than cash.
Keydata has introduced yet another innovative product. Its new income property bond pays 7 per cent a year or 1.75 per cent quarterly for a fixed term of six years.
Commentators often seem keen to dismiss the summer months as a period of low liquidity and reduced investor participation but economic releases show no respect for such arguments and it has certainly been worth following this data closely in recent months.
As I enter my 26th year of working within financial services, I have been reading the column inches (more like miles) of coverage about the changes to trust law and the inheritance tax realignment.
Billy Mackay is returning to Skandia after leaving the firm to join Barclays Wealth Management just last month.
Conference season is approaching for the political parties, as it is for the professional bodies.
Nationwide Building Society's planned merger with Portman has been met with optimism by a broker market desperate for a lender to emerge from the pack to challenge HBOS's dominance.
Last week I was looking at loan trusts and how, even with a nil value for the settlement on commencement (the entire value of the settled property being constituted by the funds loaned which, net of the current outstanding loan, leaves a nil value), there could be a value in excess of the nil-rate band available to the settlement at the time the first periodic charge arises.
"Mature, well-endowed Mutual WLTM trim attractive partner. Must have GSOH and a specialised lending division". Perhaps not how it happened, but nonetheless the intriguing union between Nationwide and Portman announced last week carries significant portents for many.
The FSA's consultation period on the age 70 rule has now ended. Would you like to see the rule abolished or the age threshold raised to 80? Which option do you think the FSA is likely to take? Would you like the rule to be scrapped on all types of whole-of-life plans or only certain types?
Salaries soaring as demand for good paraplanners outstrips supply
Among the many misconceptions that the overwhelming majority of members of the public - and not a few IFAs - have about journalists is the one that we spend most of the time writing articles.
Now that the dust is settling on the Chancellor's smash and grab raid on trusts, you need to start thinking about your clients' inheritance tax planning in a number of new ways.
Darren Mackle, Consultancy View
River & Mercantile, the brainchild of two former Liontrust chiefs, finally goes live at the end of November.
If you ask any industry professional, what are the major difficulties their profession will face over the coming 20 years, you will get a whole host of answers depending on their own personal view.
Duncan Young, Provider View
If Scottish Widows Investment Partnership head of UK distribution Simon Wombwell ever tires of life in financial services, he always has the option of applying for the manager's job at his beloved Sheffield Wednesday.
Skandia and Selestia have announced further details of their new investment platform, which combines the current Skandia MultiFunds and Selestia platforms.
The Asp mess continues to get messier. IFAs can do the bidding of the Treasury and avoid being called nasty tax-avoidance advisers by not recommending Asps.
Immediate Needs Forum chairman Robert Hamer is so concerned about NU's withdrawal that he is looking very closely at GE Life, one of the remaining three LTC providers, to check it does not also intend to pull out.
For the past few years, a lot of fund managers have sought to emphasise their stock-picking prowess. Whereas previously they spoke proudly of the quality of their macroeconomic analysis or their thematic processes, more recently it has been about stocks and, in particular, the wide range of money-making opportunities that exist in mid-cap stocks, not just here in the UK but also in the US, Europe and Japan.
HSBC's announcement that it is to shift its core UK equity business away from Halbis Partners to its multimanager team has raised a few eyebrows in the investment community.
So the investigation into the network four, as many have called them, is over, but the gossip is unlikely to die down just yet.
Aifa's call for the introduction of limited or focused advice on specific product areas has been welcomed by many in the industry as long as important caveats are established.
To the relief, perhaps, of many IFAs, the FSA in its 2006/2007 business plan signalled its intention to move away from reliance on detailed rules towards an approach to regulation based on higher-level principles - in other words, less box-ticking, more professional judgement.
The method used by charities to show costs could clear up public confusion