Automatic enrolment earnings trigger and qualifying earnings band

Matthew Barrand Auto-enrolment, Blog

The Government has announced the earnings trigger and qualifying earnings band for auto-enrolment purposes for 2021/22. The earnings trigger is one of the three key factors which ultimately governs who gets enrolled into a workplace pension scheme through automatic enrolment. The government’s view remains that if the trigger is too high, then low to moderate earners who can afford to …

It’s never too late for a mid-life financial check up

Matthew Barrand Blog, Retirement, Savings

You’ve got savings, a pension, perhaps even stocks and shares. You’re on track… right? The truth is our financial health could do with a check-in every now and again, and making some small changes can pay dividends, especially in mid-life. Although you might have begun your adult life on the right foot, cut to thirty years later, and changes in …

ESG Megatrend

ESG: A megatrend here to stay

Matthew Barrand Blog, Investment

New research suggests environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is set to continue gaining prominence, with ESG issues increasingly converging into mainstream investment strategies. A growing trend The last few years have seen a substantial rise in ESG investing around the globe, driven by an increasing desire for investors to know both where their money is going and that it …

SKI’ing (Spending the Kids Inheritance)

SKI’ing (Spending the Kids Inheritance)

Matthew Barrand Blog, Inheritance

What’s stopping clients adopting wealth transfer strategies? It might be that they’d rather spend it on themselves or put it aside in case they need it for the future, but if they do want to transfer their wealth, the older generation could be missing out on significant opportunities to help the generations that follow. A recent consumer research report asks …

Aaron Tawny :: Independent Financial Advice :: Mortgages

First-time buyer rules

Matthew Barrand Blog, Mortgages

Anyone buying their first home from July 1, 2021, can get stamp duty relief at the same level as that before July 8, 2020. This is a discount to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder. This means you’ll pay: • Property purchase price up to £300,000 – zero per cent stamp duty • The portion from £300,001 to …

Green Gilt

UK to launch first green gilt

Matthew Barrand Blog

The government is planning to launch the UK’s first green gilt in 2021 in response to “growing investor demand”, as announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. He said it would be the first in a series of new issuances, with the government keen to position the UK as a world-leading green finance hub ahead of the COP 26 international climate talks …

Get to know your pension ages

Get to know your pension age(s)

Matthew Barrand Pensions

Did you know that the phased increases to State Pension age (SPA) reached 66 for both men and women in October 2020 and it’s set to rise further? The minimum age for taking funds from a personal pension is also set to rise in 2028. Getting to know your pension ages, and what you can expect to receive, is vital …

When to apply for a Grant of Representation

Matthew Barrand Inheritance

In the latest Trusts and Estates Newsletter, HMRC has warned against applying too early for a Grant of Representation, in order to avoid delays. A Grant of Representation includes both a Grant of Probate (where the deceased had a valid will) and Letters of Administration (where there is not a valid will). The process is known as ‘confirmation’ in Scotland. …

Pension pots

Number of old pension pots unknown for one in eight

Matthew Barrand Pensions

One in eight people do not know how many old workplace pension pots they have, according to a poll carried out by Interactive Investor. With an average age of 55, 13% of customers of the investment platform said they did not know how many old workplace pensions they have. The poll, which was recently conducted on the Interactive Investor platform …

If you are self-employed

Self-employed? Be pension proud

Matthew Barrand Pensions

Last year was challenging, with job losses and pay cuts causing many to tighten their budgets. It was particularly difficult for the self-employed, with many freelancers losing income as companies cut costs and stopped using contractors. Despite government grants being available, many self-employed workers have found they are not eligible. Almost five million people in the UK are self-employed, or …