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Taking a lump sum from your pension? Think ‘Uffplus’

Taking a lump sum from your pension? Think ‘Uffplus’ Issued: 31 January 2017   Until April 2015, when the pension ‘freedom and choice’ reforms were introduced, it was quite usual for ‘new pensioners’ to make use of the 25% tax-free pension commencement lump sum (PCLS) facility and take a sizeable amount of money, tax free, from their pension pot. But the reforms introduced an alternative which could leave you both better off and paying less tax. Many ‘helpful articles’ about the choice appeared at the time of the pension reforms: that on the Daily Mail’s ‘This is Money’ website is still, nearly two years on, a good guide. (Read the article) Prior to the reforms, new pensioners could take 25% of the value of their pension pot as a tax-free lump sum – however, if they did so, they then had to move the balance from the pension (saving) scheme […]

Treasure hunt for millions of lost pensions

Treasure hunt for millions of lost pensions Issued: 30 January 2017   Aviva is in talks with social networking site LinkedIn about a partnership that could reunite millions of savers with forgotten pension pots, reports The Times. (Read the article). Commenting on the results of a survey carried out in November 2016, the insurance giant estimates that of 10,000 people questioned, almost one in eight (13%) had lost track of at least one pension pot, possibly the equivalent of 2.7million policies in total. (Read Aviva’s summary of the survey) Although the problem isn’t a new one, its potential size is surprising given that recent government figures revealed that around 60% of UK adults are concerned about not having enough money to last them in retirement. But Aviva also highlighted the lack of engagement around pensions: nearly half of those interviewed admitting that they either never reviewed their retirement savings or […]

State pension top-up scheme to end soon

State pension top-up scheme to end soon Issued: 25 January 2017   A little-known scheme to boost your state pension ends on 5 April 2017, writes Paul Lewis (read Paul’s article in the Radio Times here), but it appears that less than 10,000 people have taken advantage of the scheme. The scheme was launched in October 2015 as part of the overhaul of the state pension system and applies to those eligible for the state pension using the ‘old’, multi-tier system that was superseded by the ‘new’, single-tier system on 6 April 2016. As such, only men born before 6 April 1951 and woman born before 6 April 1953 qualify, but the scheme applies if you’ve decided to defer drawing your pension. The scheme allows those who are eligible to use their savings to top-up their state pension by buying a special, Class 3A voluntary national insurance contribution. You can […]

Are you a non-PAYE employer?

Are you a non-PAYE employer? Issued: 23 January 2017   Do you employ someone – but don’t pay them using PAYE? There are many reasons why this may be but the most common is that, because you pay them less than the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance contributions (£112 per week), you haven’t registered with HMRC as an employer. But auto enrolment still applies to you – and the staging date for employers who don’t pay their employees using PAYE is 1 April 2017, just two months away. Auto enrolment affects every employer, from the largest in the land to the smallest. It means that if you employ someone you have a legal duty to first assess them against set criteria and then take prescribed action. If you don’t pay your employee using PAYE it’s quite possible that they won’t qualify as an ‘eligible jobholder’ but auto enrolment legislation […]

How to get a £20,000 pension by the time you retire

How to get a £20,000 pension by the time you retire Issued: 19 January 2017   The BBC published an article on its website last week outlining what you’ll need to save to draw a pension of £20,000 a year. Although some may find it disheartening – and to be honest, the subject does have plenty of potential for that – it’s definitely worth a read as it certainly gives food for thought (please click here). Hopefully, most people reading it will take it as a spur for some positive action, perhaps taking a pragmatic look at their own situation to better understand what they need to do. The basis of the article is the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) recently released figures showing that the ‘average retired household’ now spends £21,770 a year: the article going on to ask what you would need to save each month to meet […]

FCA warns of fake emails

FCA warns of fake emails Issued: 13 January 2017   The FCA has said that emails have been received appearing to be from FCA email addresses, in particular ‘’ and ‘’; the last being entitled ‘FCA Regulation 2017’. (For further details, please visit the FCA’s website.) So, be aware and stay vigilante! If you’ve any doubts about the authenticity of contact from the FCA, call their Consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768. One Financial Solutions is a firm of independent financial advisers. We advise on a wide range of financial services including protection for both you and your business, general and business insurance, savings and investments, commercial finance, pensions and auto enrolment, employee benefits, profit extraction and mortgages: our aim being to offer you ‘one solution’ for all your financial needs. We provide truly independent financial advice, sourced from the whole of the financial marketplace, for individuals and commercial businesses […]