23 February 2017


Mike Morrison: Four ways to simplify pensions

Having just spent a week out and about talking to advisers, I was reminded just how unnecessarily complex our pension system is. There are some obvious changes that could be made, which would make a real difference. 1: Separate defined benefit and defined contribution rules Trying to apply one set of rules to DB and […]


What pensions industry wants from auto-enrol review

The automatic enrolment story has had a successful start but to ensure more workers get their happy ending in retirement the Department for Work and Pensions wants to keep things on the right track. To do this, it is conducting a review of the system that will consider three themes: coverage, engagement and contributions. So […]

Pensions vs share schemes for higher rate taxpayers

Wallace works for a large pharma-ceutical company and has net relevant earnings of £44,800 after factoring in his employer’s pension scheme, to which he is contributing the maximum matched amount. He is due to meet his adviser for an end of tax-year review. Since his last review meeting, Wallace has changed jobs and his adviser […]

How to keep online advice fit for purpose

Launching an online advice service to attract younger clients may be innovative in itself for many advisers with over 30 years’ experience in the industry. But for founder of online advice firm Said So Keith Churchouse, innovation is about keeping up with how people want to use a service that delivers advice from qualified advisers […]


Tony Byrne: The FCA must put a stop to hidden charges

There has been much debate over the years around the subject of portfolio turnover rate, which represents the hidden charges levied by funds not disclosed by the ongoing charges figure. When key information documents were introduced in July 2011, the requirement to disclose the PTR was abolished. Many people at the time saw this as […]


Billy Burrows: Should you bend your retirement planning rules?

In such an uncertain world, working out how best to convert a pension pot into income is one of the most complex areas of financial planning. It is made even more complicated thanks to the many behavioural and technical issues to consider. So how do advisers work out the advice they give to clients? I […]


Loosening the lifetime allowance for drawdown clients

As a result of the pension freedoms, more clients are likely to be in drawdown at age 75 and beyond. However, this means a lesser-known tax aspect is going to start having an impact on more people. The snappily titled Benefit Crystallisation Event 5A comes into play for those still in drawdown at age 75. […]


Making the most of the lifetime allowance

We have seen the lifetime allowance rise as high as £1.8m since A-Day. Now we are down to just £1m. Each time it has dropped, we have seen another protection announced with various deadlines attached. It has been almost three years since we saw the lifetime allowance reduce from £1.5m to £1.25m but there is […]

Tony Wickenden: Beware the pension transfers IHT trap

It has always seemed mad that a transfer of value for inheritance tax purposes could take place from one pension fund to another when, in relation to the pension arrangements from and to which the transfer is being made, amounts payable on death would be IHT free. In other words: the net IHT result for […]


The worrying lack of adviser succession

The third edition of The Heath Report is due in May. There have been two THRs so far. THR1 was issued in September 2014. It was a hastily constructed document that looked at the availability of advice post-RDR. Although it was well received, it suffered from a narrow survey base. THR2 was issued in March […]


Tom Baigrie: In defence of client call recording

I am a great fan of call recording. My firm was an early adopter, in part because we heard much about the ombudsman’s propensity to give clients the benefit of the doubt in a dispute over who said what to whom. We also recognised the huge training benefits that come from listening to yourself speak. In […]