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Better together? Advisers start to build ‘consumer coalition’

Industry bodies are looking to create a “coalition” with consumer groups to help strengthen the voice of the advice profession and improve trust in the sector. The Personal Finance Society has stepped up its consumer profile with the launch of a money guidance website, while ex-IFA Association director general Garry Heath plans to work closely […]

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Investment analysis: Are we seeing a strange new world for the bond market?

The combination of low inflation growth and excess liquidity following the ECB’s quantitative easing programme has distorted bond valuations, with some short-duration instruments now offering negative returns. At the beginning of March nearly $3.85trn (£2.56trn) or 17 per cent of developed market global government bonds traded at negative yields, according to Columbia Threadneedle Investments. In […]

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What’s in pensions minister Ros Altmann’s in-tray?

Increasing auto-enrolment contributions, reforming tax relief and extending new guidance service Pension Wise should be priorities for the new pensions minister, say industry experts. This week former Saga director general and older workers’ champion Ros Altmann was appointed pensions minister as part of the Government’s reshuffle. The pensions industry wasted no time in setting out […]

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Danby Bloch: A warning on IHT and pensions

The tax position of pension scheme death benefits now looks very attractive and advisers are understandably getting more excited about the planning possibilities. There is much talk of an estate planning revolution, with wealth cascading down the generations. However, a fully paid-up member of the awkward squad might ask: how confident are we this benign […]

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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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