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Web overload hits pension returns

Providers have criticised online pension scheme returns as a waste of time after the HM Revenue & Customs website crashed just before the deadline.

The system was overloaded on January 31 as millions of people tried to file their self-assessment tax returns at the same time as returns from self-invested personal pensions and small self-administered schemes were due to HMRC.

The Pal Partnership business development director Richard Mattison says his staff had been working at weekends to get scheme returns filed by the deadline because the website was so slow.

Mattison says: “I am annoyed because when A-Day rules were announced, pension scheme returns were going to be requested from only a sample of cases each year. Now it is from every SSAS and Sipp in the country, which seems completely unreasonable.

“A lot of the information they requested was meaningless. This is just one example of pension simplification being an abject failure.”

IPS Pensions managing director Rupert Curtis says: “It was a complete disaster. There is a lot of frustration in the industry as to why HMRC wants this information.”

Rowanmoor Pensions managing director Ian Hammond says: “The whole scheme returns issue has been rather time wasteful, with HMRC requesting information that is not necessarily relevant. But we knew about having to complete the returns a good few months ago so people should have started earlier.”


Stakeholder offices ready to add charge

Life offices say they may introduce an up-front charge on stakeholder pensions if it is decided that personal accounts are to operate under a hybrid charging structure.Scottish Widows head of pensions market development Ian Naismith says if the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority chooses to run personal accounts with a combination of an initial charge and […]

Lost property

February and March are key months to consider tax planning to maximise the use of an individual’s allowances, reliefs, exemptions, etc. for the current tax year. Some of these will be lost if not used before the year-end.

Clegg promising independent advice on repossessions

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Uinsure ahead of targets with 800 agents

Web-based general insurance panel Uinsure has signed its 800th firm to use its services for buildings and contents and mortgage payment protection insurance. Ashton Mortgage & Financial Solutions was the 800th firm to sign up. With 1,000 firms expected by the end of the first year, Uinsure chief executive Simon Taylor says they are now […]

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Preparing for the changes to the pensions market

As more and more providers start to reveal their stance on the charge cap and removal of commission and active member discount pricing, we thought it would be worthwhile to look at what these are, and the steps businesses should be taking to prepare for this.


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