Inheritance Tax Hits New Heights

In the 2017/18 tax year some £5.2 billion was paid in inheritance tax (IHT). That’s £400 million more than in 2016/17 and the highest IHT ‘take’ on record. On one level, this isn’t a surprise, the ‘nil rate band’ – the amount of an estate which is not subject to IHT – has been frozen at its […]

New State Pension Scheme

A new State pension scheme will come into operation in little more than 15 months, in April 2016. The existing State scheme is complex, involving a basic State pension and various earnings-related supplements, notably the Second State Pension (‘S2P’). A further complication has been the option of contracting out of S2P and diverting National Insurance […]

Pensioner Bonds

Details have been announced of the new National Savings Pensioner Bonds, which are designed to appease pensioners suffering from on-going low rates of interest on their savings. The Bonds will be available to over-65 year olds in January 2015 and will offer ‘market-leading’ interest rates of 4% a year over three years and 2.8% over […]

Annuities Improved

Many people assumed that the attractions of being able to draw income from pension plans would eclipse the annuity market, but recent stock market volatility provided a reminder of the benefits of a guaranteed stable lifetime income. Furthermore, the Autumn Statement contained an important additional benefit to annuities, in that payments made from joint life […]