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‘Europe is the best hope of overturning Asp tax charge’

The European Union could be the best route to end the 82 per cent death charge on alternatively secured pensions, according to Hornbuckle Mitchell.

Speaking at the PIMS conference, the firm’s managing director Neil Marsh said the industry may be able to persuade the EU that the new Asp tax charges are unlawful as they are focused on a specific group.

He also said a change of Government could help the situation. The Tories have hinted an end to forced annuitisation will be in their next manifesto.

Last week the House of Lords voted narrowly for a Pensions Bill amendment scrapping forced annuitisation at 75, although there is no chance of this being adopted.

Marsh said under the current arrangements, advisers need to keep in mind the options available for their clients. He said many advisers were ignoring the use of scheme pensions as a way of taking income out of a SSAS, since the A-Day changes.

He said scheme pensions take into account the individual circumstances of the client, rather than rigid Asps, and in some cases lead to a payout that is £80,000 bigger.

He said there were between 30,000 and 40,000 SSASs in the UK and a major gap in the market as many providers have pulled out.

Marsh said: “What has this Government got against people aged over 75? A change in Government or European Union action, due to the fact that this tax charge is targeting a specific group, looks like the only hope.”


Long look at short concept

“Short extension” strategies, or 130/30 funds, are a relatively new concept for the British investment market. They have existed in America for the last few years, with groups such as State Street, Mellon and Barclays Global Investors cited as the main players.Initially, 130/30 strategies were used for institutional investment only and were quantitative in style. […]

Providers muddying the waters in PPI market

If the consumer watchdog Which? can get mixed up with the level of refund available from a cancelled single-premium protection policy, what chance does the man in the street have? Reading through an article in May’s edition of Which? magazine, I stumbled across a sentence that made me draw breath. In an article discussing what […]

Poor Ken…

Poor Ken Davy. Having been granted the honour of meeting the Queen as ambassador for Huddersfield, Ken and his wife Jennifer missed out on the photo opportunity. It seems the paparazzi had been asked to leave before the greeting and Ken did not think to take his camera as he would be too busy practicing […]

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England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.


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