Samuel Dale

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Mega Merger: What does the £5.6bn Aviva/Friends Life deal mean for advisers?

The proposed £5.6bn mega-merger of Aviva and Friends Life will result in thousands of job losses and rock the foundations of the UK pensions, protection and investment industries, experts are predicting. Last week, the Aviva and Friends Life boards revealed detailed discussions on the biggest pension deal in years. The Friends Life board has indicated […]


Scathing NAO report prompts pensions tax relief scrutiny calls

Industry experts have called on the Treasury to undertake a value-for-money study on pensions tax relief after a National Audit Office report said the Government was losing track of tax relief spending. In a scathing NAO report published last week, the Treasury is accused of failing to monitor the costs and benefits of tax reliefs. NAO […]


Insurer share prices rocket despite year of pensions turmoil

UK insurers have seen their share prices rocket in the last 12 months despite a tumultuous year of political change and huge drops in annuity sales. In the past year, the nation’s biggest pension providers have left the stagnating FTSE 100 in their wake, rising by up to 20 per cent. After the Budget bombshell […]


Treasury waters down HMRC powers to raid bank accounts

Individuals who risked tax debts being directly recovered by from their bank accounts will now have the right to a face-to-face meeting with tax officials and an appeals process before action is taken in a significant watering down of the rules. Earlier this year the Budget gave HM Revenue & Customs to directly dip into bank […]

David Gauke MP

Treasury refuses to review £2bn pension freedoms tax loophole

The Treasury is refusing to review possible tax avoidance from new pension freedoms, claiming it would be “counter-productive” to draw attention to loopholes. In a tabled amendment to the Taxation of Pensions Bill, published last week, Labour called for a review of pension freedoms next year focusing on possible tax avoidance. From April anyone aged […]


Treasury U-turns over ‘unworkable’ Budget reporting demands

The Treasury has scrapped requirements on savers to contact all previous pension providers when accessing new freedoms in a major policy U-turn. Under Taxation of Pensions Bill amendments tabled just last month, savers were told they must contact all their existing pension providers within 31 days of accessing new freedoms. The Treasury wanted savers to […]


Ivan Massow launches campaign to be London Mayor

Former IFA Ivan Massow is today launching a campaign to become Conservative candidate for Mayor of London and succeed Boris Johnson. Massow is the only Tory candidate to declare his interest for the May 2016 election. He has been a Tory activist for years and ran for council elections under the party banner as well as […]


Employers could be forced to pay for DB transfer advice

Employers could be forced to pay for regulated advice for employees transferring out of defined benefit schemes under new rules. In a series of amendments to the Pension Schemes Bill, published last week, work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith says employers must ensure everyone transferring out of a DB scheme receives “appropriate independent advice”. […]


Friends Life shares rocket 6% on possible Aviva deal

Shares in Friends Life have rocketed 6 per cent this morning on the news it is in talks to sell to Aviva in a deal worth around £5bn. Friends Life shares closed at 348p on Friday but rallied this morning to 375p on the news of a possible deal before slipping back to 368p by […]


Labour wants £1bn FCA forex fines to go to NHS

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is calling on the Treasury to invest £1bn worth of FCA fines relating to foreign exchange manipulation into the National Health Service. Since last year FCA fines have gone to the Treasury, less the regulator’s enforcement costs. The Government has previously given some of the Libor fines to military charities. Earlier […]


Aviva in talks to buy £5bn Friends Life

Aviva is in advanced talks to buy Friends Life in a deal potentially worth £5bn. Aviva, which has a market value of nearly £15bn, is working on a share combination deal to buy Friends Life, which has a market value of £5bn. The talks are at an advanced stage with Goldman Sachs acting for Friends […]