As milder Spring weather has finally arrived and the daffodils are in bloom, I am delighted to read that Britain is poised for a housing market revival, according to the respected Ernst & Young ITEM Club.
According to a recent Age UK Survey, 23% of UK adults have lost track of at least 1 pension, creating confusion and uncertainty over retirement saving plans. The average person aged over 65 has worked for about six different employers, according to Age UK. Younger generations, those aged 25-34, have already worked for at least six employers.
There has been a welcome change recently for non-domiciled widows, who have previously been liable to Inheritance Tax (IHT) on their spouse’s death. Whilst assets can usually pass between spouses without IHT, there has always been a hidden trap where the deceased was domiciled in the UK and the survivor was domiciled in another country.
More than half of younger workers aged between 25 and 34 plan to save more into a pension in 2013 compared with 26% of 45 to 54-year-olds according to a new survey by the National Association of Pension Funds.
Interest rates on cash savings are at an all-time low. Currently, it is difficult to get much over 2% gross for a no-notice account, whilst inflation (RPI) is stubbornly high at 3.2% and shows no signs of abating. This means that savers face a falling standard of living as inflation erodes the purchasing power of their cash.
The end of the tax year is looming on Friday 5 April, but there is still time to save tax for 2012/13.
There is a widespread perception that pensions are a waste of money, with reasons mentioned including poor investment returns, high costs, complex rules and difficult to get your money out.