Archive for the ‘Pensions’ Category

Auto Enrolment– Unexpected stats on opt-outs

Never ones to rest on their gold plated laurels those busy Nest-Golden-Eggs-500w-300x200bees at the Department for Work and Pensions have been busy putting together their latest report on automatic enrolment into workplace pension schemes.

The Automatic Enrolment Evaluation Report 2013 shows the breakdown, by different factors, of private sector employees eligible for automatic enrolment savings into a workplace pensions.

The report breaks down the data by industry, employer size earnings and age. The key points from the results are:

  • There is certainly a buzz in the energy sector where those employed in the Energy and Water industry have the highest participation rate at 63% in 2012.
  • It’s taking longer to sow the seeds and hook new savers in the Agriculture and Fishing industry with a participation rate of just 18%.
  • Employers with between 250 and 4,999 employees have the highest participation rate at 53%
  • Those earnings over £40,000 have the highest participation rate at 74%.
  • Understandably, those earning less than £10,000 have a 32% rate.
  • In terms of age employees aged between 22 and 29 have the lowest levels of participation at 24% compared to those aged 40 to 49 and 50 to 64 which have a rate of 50%.

From a personal viewpoint I’m surprised that the opt-out rate has been so low. It’ll be interesting to see how this figure moves as smaller and smaller employers come under the new rules.  My suspicion at the moment is that inertia is propping up the figures. In other words, people are just not capable of getting around to getting the opt-out notice, completing it and getting it back to their employer within a month.

Huge Tyre Small PumpAs time goes on I suspect that the coffee tables of the nation will harbour more than a few opt-out notices whose destiny is to keep last Christmas’s Radio Times company! But then perhaps I am just an old cynic.

Whether those modest pension savings will ever be enough to live on is a completely different matter.

Steve Clark

Everything you need to know about pensions

Thanks to the legal bods at DLA Piper for putting together their excellent Pensions News publication.

The October 2013 version just landed. It’s got everything in there you could possibly need (or want) to know. From Auto Enrolment to Pension Liberation and updates of what has been happening with The Pensions Regulator, HMRC, DWP and The Treasury it’s got something for everyone.

If you’ve got any involvement in your organisation’s pension planning there is something in there for you. If you read nothing else this month – read this!

Click here for to go to Pensions News.

Steve Clark

40% of Nothing


Pile of Pound CoinsBelieve it or not there are a large number of higher rate taxpayers are losing money by not claiming back their additional tax relief.

Prudential has recently published a survey highlighting this issue. The survey found that:

  • 26% of employees paying higher rate tax do not claim the extra tax relief on their pension contributions.
  • It’s estimated 185,000 people are losing, on average, £1,255 per annum.
  • A further 15% (over 100,000) are not sure if they are reclaiming the extra relief they are due.

As bad as these findings are there are also likely to be some of those 185,000 who have unnecessarily lost their Child Benefit due to the fact that their earnings haven’t been adjusted to reflect the extra tax relief. Add this potential on and it’s clear that some higher rate tax payers out there are losing a large amount of money.

All is not lost

If you haven’t claimed any relief it’s not too late. You can make a claim for up to four years. So any overpaid tax from 2009/10 can be reclaimed up to 5th April next year.

If you’re not sure whether you have or haven’t we offer a tax relief review service that will analyse your pay slips and tax records to make sure that you are getting what you are entitled to. Just call us on 01163 800 133 to get this underway.

Steve Clark

Don’t you just love it when……….

Someone does something that saves you a tremendous amount of time.

Well this month’s “Don’t you just love it….” award goes to those legal bods over at DLA Piper for their latest edition of Pensions News.

It’s got all the latest stuff on Auto-Enrolment, The Pensions Regulator, Pension Protection Fund, changes in legislation and so much more. And yet you can have all access to this in the time that you take to drink a nice cup of Nambarrie tea – Northern Ireland’s finest.

If all this suspense is too much click this link to get your pensions fix – courtesy of DLA Piper.

Steve Clark

Building your pension with a SIPP

The Sunday Telegraph recently ran a 2-page feature on building your own pension using a SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension).

Since most people’s retirement will last 20 or 30 years, an increasingly popular alternative to annuities is to draw an income from a pension pot that remains invested in assets like shares and fixed interest bonds. Experts said that most personal pension schemes will end up offering much the same investment options as SIPPs – shares and funds – with only a small minority choosing to buy assets such as commercial property.

Contact us if you would like more information about your pension investment options.

Steve Clark