FROM THE PAPERS
Synopsis: Short summaries of articles we think you will find useful from some of the weekends broadsheets. At the end of each summary is a link to take you directly to the relevant article. Please see Helpful Hints at the end of the bulletin.
Date posted: Monday, March 24, 2014
Financial Times:” Budget 2014: Pensions unchained”. George Osborne’s fifth Budget was one of the most eventful in recent memory for savers and investors. Those who had been crying out for more incentives to save were amply rewarded by sweeping changes to ISA’s and pensions as well as some measures to alleviate the problems caused by five years of ultra-low interest rates.
Financial Times:” Q&A: How will the pension changes affect me?”. George Osborne on Wednesday unveiled the biggest pension’s revolution for almost a century. The chancellor announced plans to give people far more freedom to choose what they do with their pension pot, changing rules which effectively force people to buy an annuity at retirement.
Financial Times:” Alliance Trust axes VAT on fees”. Investment platform Alliance Trust Savings is reducing its charges after guidance from HM Revenue & Customs suggested that value added tax does not need to be applied on ISA’s and dealing accounts.
Financial Times:” ‘Hands tied’ on VCT status, says HMRC”. HM Revenue & Customs had no choice but to withdraw the status of a venture capital trust given the law, according to industry experts.
Financial Times:” Labour party gets behind flexible UK pensions”. Labour has belatedly swung its weight behind government plans to overhaul pensions, several days after shadow chancellor Ed Balls warned that the policy could leave many people ‘disadvantaged’ in retirement.
Financial Times:” Insurers suspend annuity sales”. Four of the UK’s largest life companies have suspended the processing of annuity applications while they communicate to customers the radical changes announced in this year’s Budget.
The Times:” Drawdown changes will ‘take time'”. Thousands of customers will be dismayed to discover that they will be prevented from increasing the income they take from their drawdown pension funds any time soon.
The Times:” Briefing: Key measures at a glance”. Key Budget measures at a glance
The Times:” Will you benefit from Osborne’s bumper budget?”. You Time’s up for compulsory annuities but our freedom to cash in must be used wisely
The Times:” Annuities: We answer all your questions”. Advisers were bombarded with calls from worried savers last week, as the plans of 400,000 people retiring over the next year were thrown into chaos by the change in rules. We answer your questions.
The Times:” Osborne stands firm on stamp duty thresholds”. The chancellor disappointed movers, but did extend his Help to Buy scheme
The Times:” Parents get a helping hand with childcare”. Those who work will receive a 20% tax break
The Times:” Osborne’s red light to a green investment”. A tax break for backing renewable energy has gone
The Times:” HMRC to raid bank accounts”. THE taxman will now be able to dip into your bank account and help himself to any money he believes you owe.
The Times:” Why savers should cash in with a tax-free Nisa”. Isa shake-up promises greater freedom — so keep out of the cash trap
The Times:” Insurers to offer lifeline for annuity customers”. Savers want to hand back retirement policies after the budget throws up better options
The Times:” Make the most of the savings revolution
“George Osborne launched what is nothing short of a revolution in the pensions industry in this week’s Budget. He is planning a bonfire of the restrictions on the 500,000 savers who each year convert their pension pots into an income at retirement.
The Times:” Streets of gold for the taxman”. People living in the wealthiest constituencies in and around London contribute more to UK tax revenue than the whole of Scotland, Northern Ireland and most English regions combined, new figures show.
The Times:” Income tax: so, will you be better off?”. The increase in the personal allowance from £10,000 to £10,500 next year was the worst-kept secret in the Budget, and puts the icing on a policy that both parties in the coalition claim is their own.
The Times:” Childcare scheme ‘will put up the nursery fees'”. New tax breaks on childcare will be an ‘open invitation’ for nurseries and nannies to put up their prices, leaving cash-strapped working parents no better off within two years, experts have warned.
The Times:” High flyers to benefit from new tax break”. From April 2015 it will be as cheap to fly to Beijing as it is to Boston, at least tax-wise. George Osborne has announced a simplification of air passenger duty to ‘end the crazy system where you pay less tax travelling to Hawaii than you do travelling to China or India’.
The Times:” Mansion tax ‘would dent house prices and prove self-defeating'”. A mansion tax would dent house prices and slash the income from other taxes by as much as £4 billion within a decade, industry experts have warned.
The Times:” Cut your tax bill: back a social enterprise”. Investors who put money towards social or charity projects will receive a generous tax break; it was announced in the Budget.
The Times:” Taxes made simpler for small businesses”. Small business owners and other self-employed workers will be able to pay all their national insurance contributions (Nics) through self-assessment from April 2016.
The Times:” Budget offers little for Generation Rent”. The Chancellor introduced a mansion tax but failed to do much for younger homebuyers who just can’t seem able to get a tax break. This was the verdict on the housing measures in the speech, an accusation that will probably irk George Osborne, who could argue that the enhancements to ISA’s mean that would-be owner occupiers will be able to save £15,000 in cash tax-free every year for the deposit on a home.
The Times:” Pensions freedom to fuel buy-to-let boom”. Is there a buy-to-let boom on the horizon? The radical pensions overhaul announced in this week’s Budget, which will allow savers aged 55 and above to withdraw their entire pension pot as a lump sum instead of limiting them to the increasingly paltry incomes provided by annuities could prompt growing numbers of retired people to put their money into property instead of traditional pension models, say experts.
The Times:” Backing small firms still brings tax bonus”. Investors chasing tax relief by putting money into venture capital trusts and enterprise investment schemes may have been alarmed to hear the Chancellor threaten to ‘take action to curb potential misuse of the EIS and VCT schemes’.
The Times:” Finally, decent returns for the retired”. Retired people who have watched the value of their savings ebb away for more than five years will soon be eligible for special market-leading rates in one of the Chancellor’s key Budget measures.
The Telegraph:“Pension providers reel from Osborne’s nasty surprise”. In four sentences the Chancellor changed the way the pension industry has operated for 90 years
The Telegraph:“RIP annuities? The cautious will hesitate”. Expect to see the price of insurers come back over the days to come
The Telegraph:“Budget 2014: verdict from the Maidstone mums?”. What do the ‘Maidstone Mums’ – the new desirable demographic with disposable incomes and comfortable lifestyles – think of this year’s Budget?
The Telegraph:“Savings rates ‘could rise’ as NS&I launch new products”. Building societies say savings rates could rise as National Savings & Investments prepares to launch market-leading products
The Telegraph:“The pensioners out of pocket”. Perhaps something could be done for those who have recently locked themselves into an annuity that will provide a pittance?
The Telegraph:“Abolition of 10p rate on savings to benefit pensioners”. Resolution Foundation says 54pc of financial gains from the change will go to households headed a pensioner
The Telegraph:“150,000 in rush to cancel annuity buying”. More than 150,000 people are estimated to have started the process of purchasing an annuity
The Telegraph:“Victory: George delivers on ISA’s and pensions”. The Budget was a coup for the Telegraph and its readers, and now we must grasp its wide implications
The Telegraph:“The £15,000 flexible Isa: how our campaign set your money free”. Six weeks ago we began a campaign to fix Britain’s ISA’s. We asked the Chancellor to make changes to the system, and it seems Mr Osborne was listening
The Telegraph:“Do new ISA’s trump the new pensions?”. The ‘Big Bang Budget’ radically improved both ISA’s and pensions. So which is better?
The Telegraph:“Can the annuities market survive Osborne’s bombshell?”. Life insurers will face consolidation as the annuities market shrinks
The Telegraph:” Life insurers urge regulator to intervene in pension’s shake-up”. Insurance executives unhappy with George Osborne’s proposals which threaten to curtail the £12bn-a-year annuity market
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