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All quiet on savings and pensions front

One day, I will be on a Budget panel when there is a really momentous announcement affecting IFAs. But not this year.

Not much about the savings ratio (when a Chancellor does not give one particular statistic in a budget almost wholly comprised of them, you can surmise that it is not improving: we didn&#39t even get told what the ratio was in the Eurozone). Not much about pensions. So there can&#39t be a crisis can there? It will be a cabinet colleague who will give the results of the recent reviews. It must be nothing to do with the Treasury.

I did not detect anything in the Budget to persuade any employer to retain an occupational scheme.

I have always thought that the Child Trust Fund was a worthwhile piece of social engineering; but even this is going to be complicated by being means tested. Coupled with the continued emphasis on Pensions Credit, it now appears that there will be means testing from cradle to grave.

The Pensions Credit point will not make it any easier to advise on the suitability of pensions of the Stakeholder or Sandler variants.

The Sandler proposals on life policy withdrawals were not followed through; I was slightly surprised at this. I suspect that this issue will resurface.

Still, on my regional speaking engagements, I will be able to pop into the local art gallery to take in their latest acquisition paid for out of the new fund (a good idea) and given the emphasis on relocation of public bodies, I may well have to nip up to Inverness to see the FSA. Hope there&#39s a good gallery there.


The new child trust fund

This has been trailed for some time now and at last we have “lift off” so to speak. The Child Trust Fund (CTF) will be introduced to benefit children across the UK by: providing an initial endowment at birth for every child of £250, rising to £500 for children from low-income families who also qualify […]

Skipton Guernsey – 3 Year Step Up Bond Issue 8

Wednesday, 9 April 2003 Type: Offshore high interest account Minimum-maximum investment: £10,000 – £500,000 Place of registration: Guernsey Interest rates: Up to £49,999 &#45 3.4% gross a year until April 27, 2004, 3.9% until April 27, 2005, 4.1% until April 27, 2006. £50,000 and above &#45 3.45% gross a year until April 27, 2004, 3.95% […]

North takes lead on property price rises

House prices rose by 1.1 per cent in March, according to the Halifax house price index.The figure is a fall from February&#39s 1.7 per cent increase. Halifax says the slowdown has been caused by an increase in the number of properties coming on to the market. For the first three months of the year, prices […]

Framlington offers free transfers during May

Framlington is offering what it is calling a “knockout transfer deal” for the month of May, allowing investors to transfer their Peps and Isas into its range of funds with no initial charge.It is offering 1.5 per cent up-front commission to IFAs during the month with 0.5 per cent a year renewal following that. The […]

Artemis Global Income: Making sense of global markets

The rally in cyclical ‘value’ stocks paused for breath in February, as investors took a more cautious tone and switched their attention back to defensive areas. In this article, Jacob de Tusch-Lec, manager of the Artemis Global Income Fund, explains how he has positioned the portfolio, given the many economic, geopolitical and policy risks that […]


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