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Alarm at HMRC bank account powers

A committee of MPs has raised concerns at proposed new powers to allow HMRC to take payment directly from individuals’ bank accounts. The Treasury Select Committee fear that the new tax collection powers, put forward in George Osborne’s recent Budget, could leave thousands of people open to error and fraud. In a statement, the committee […]

Borrowers facing greater money management scrutiny

From Saturday 26 April, if you want to take out a mortgage to buy a property or you want to re-mortgage, expect a lot more questions from the mortgage lender or broker about how you spend your money.  The mortgage lending industry has been forced to introduce tougher new rules (part of something called the […]

Many face pension shortfall on retirement

Many people are underestimating the value of the State Pension and risk being hard up in retirement, according to a report. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that a single person needs a minimum of £8,600 and a couple £12,500, to achieve a minimum standard of living. With the State Pension standing at just £5,881, or […]

Budget changes make ISAs even NISA?

Chancellor George Osborne announced major changes to the rules around Individual Savings Accounts in his 2014 Budget speech which could have a significant impact on your savings and investment strategy. Instead of having to invest solely in cash (Cash ISA) or shares (Stocks and Shares ISA) you will now be able to invest in either […]

Is buying a Lamborghini with your pension a good idea?

Following changes announced in the Budget people will have complete flexibility, once they reach age 55, to take their benefits when and how they see fit. Up to 25% will be tax-free with the remainder being taxed at the individual’s highest marginal rate. You could blow the lot on fast cars, Bingo and beer… However, […]

Married Same Sex Couples State Pension regulations issued

The Social Security (Graduated Retirement Benefit) (Married Same Sex Couples) Regulations 2014 (SI 76/2014) have been issued. The Regulations are made as a consequence of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and extend the National Insurance Act 1965 to surviving same sex spouses. The Regulations permit the surviving same sex spouse to inherit the […]

Are you missing out on pension annuity income?

A recent report by the Financial Conduct Authority estimates that 80% of consumers who bought an annuity from their existing pension provider could have got a better deal on the open market and are missing out on £millions in income each year. The review (published on 14 February 2014) was the result of a detailed […]

New parent? Are you protected?

A recent report looking at people who have just started a family has found that 47% of parents have no life cover, 76% of parents have no critical illness cover and nearly two-thirds of people with life insurance admit they have not updated their level of cover following a change in their personal circumstances. Are […]

Changes simplify bank account switch

It used to be that transferring a current account from one bank to another could take up to 30 days. Under new rules that recently came into force, however it will take only seven working days and the new bank will do all the legwork – from notifying the old bank to transferring existing standing […]

Pensioner savers paying too much tax

Research from Prudential has suggested that approximately £229m a year is being unnecessarily kept by the tax man because more than 182,500 people have not claimed the correct tax relief on pension contributions. Their findings reveal that 26% of UK employees who pay higher rate tax (on income over £41,450) did not claim higher rate […]