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Pensions set for property freedom

Pension schemes could invest directly in residential property under plans in the Inland Revenue&#39s second round of pension simplification consultation.

The Revenue is proposing to include residential property in the range of permitted pension investments although a pension benefit in kind would be levied where property is used by a related party.

Most experts see the proposal as positive for property prices and pension take-up but industry opinion is divided over whether there will be a knockon effect for first-time buyers.

The new investment freedom could result in new collective property investment funds springing up and experts say the Government could offer specific tax breaks for investments in social housing.

Savills Private Finance director Mike Boles says: “This would boost the housing market and buy to let and give more options to pension funds. New funds are likely to be created so individuals would not have to invest directly.”


Millfield cuts losses and boosts turnover

Millfield Group has reduced its losses and increased turnover by two-thirds while agreeing a £10m investment in its Lifetime wrap venture from Norwich Union. The Aim-listed national IFA cut its losses by 4.5 per cent to £5.6m in the six months to September 2003 from £5.9m for the same period last year and saw turnover […]

Neil Bridge

Although he has never worn a wig or wielded a gavel – not to MM&#39s knowledge, at any rate – Schroders sales director Neil Bridge is a master at holding court. Most often seen telling (occasionally clean) jokes and laughing raucously in a bar, Bridge is one of the industry&#39s more colourful and best-known characters. […]

October house prices up 1.8 per cent – ODPM

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister&#39s house price index for October shows that the average house price in the UK was £161,365 up from £158,576 in September, a 1.8 per cent rise. The figures are significantly greater than Nationwide&#39s October index which said the average house cost £131,947, an increase of 2.0 per cent. […]

Advisers say red tape is a bigger headache than PI

IFAs feel swamped by red tape and increasing volumes of paperwork. In a survey carried out for Money Marketing by H2B, red tape emerges as the biggest problem IFAs face from the FSA and Financial Ombudsman Service, cited by 77.8 per cent of 1,002 IFAs questioned. Lack of help over PI insurance, mentioned by 57.3 […]

India Election Update

What a difference six months makes. Speaking in September last year, we had warned of ‘excessive pessimism’ afflicting the market’s perception of India. Since then, responsible central bank policy from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), alongside improving global growth, has meant that India’s macro environment is strengthening quickly. The current account deficit has shrunk, inflation is falling and the government has embarked on a heavy dose of much needed fiscal consolidation. As a result, the rupee has been one of the strongest global currencies this year while the market has touched all-time highs, rallying by more than 20 per cent (GBP) since September. This begs the question: are we now in a period of ‘irrational exuberance’? Not yet.


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