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Black and white in grey areas

The general election is almost certain to follow this Budget within a couple of months. Every political party is now targeting the grey vote as crucial to its election prospects.

Take these two points together and you have the potential for this Budget to be the most interesting from a pension viewpoint for many years.

My banker is for Chancellor Gordon Brown to say something significant about retirement flexibility. To me, it seems inconceivable that the Government can go into the election without announcing something about buying an annuity by age 75. My hunch is that this will not be as radical as many would wish but I do expect something significant.

Any change to the basic rate of income tax for 2001/02 – and many suspect an electioneering reduction – will require some quick footwork on the collection of employee and self-employed contributions to stakeholder and personal pensions from April 6.

For example, a person planning to pay a stakeholder contribution on behalf of a non-earning spouse of £2,808 – grossing up to £3,600 on a 22 per cent rate of income tax – would instead pay £2,844 if the tax rate was reduced to 21 per cent.


Giving credit to the less well-off

My predictions for this year&#39s Budget are as follows: Any major changes will be made primarily with an eye to the forthcoming general election. Any income tax changes will continue to be targeted mainly at the needy and low-income groups. Still on income tax, there will be a continuing shift to tax credits. There may […]

Balancing act from Henderson

Henderson Global Investors is expanding its fund of funds range with the independent balanced portfolio trust.Henderson already has two fund of funds one that is concerned with capital growth and the other aiming to produce income. The independent balanced portfolio trust bridges the gap between the existing fund of funds by combining income and growth. […]

Hodge Bank rebrands its equity-release operations

Julian Hodge Bank is rebranding its equity-release operations as Hodge Equity Release. The new operation will be responsible for marketing all the bank&#39s equity release and home-income plan products through IFAs. The bank is also changing the name of home-income plan division Carlyle Life to Hodge Life. To mark the rebranding, HER is offering two […]

Gnawing at carrots

It has been reported that the Chancellor is expected to resist any immediate change to the pension annuity system. The current rules require that any part of a pension fund not taken as permissible tax-free cash is used to purchase an annuity at an age not later than 75 as the means of providing a […]

Large-cap growth alpha thesis: seeking risk-adjusted excess returns

Content supplied by Loomis, Sayles & Company — an affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management For mutual fund investors and managers of large pensions or endowments, a major challenge is to identify those portfolio managers who are most likely to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns in the future. Understanding how an investment philosophy informs a manager’s decision […]


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