Insight / Retirement age heading to 68 years

The state pension age is likely to rise to 68 years of age by 2037 as early indications from the Cridland report show that the long-term affordability of the state-funded pension will be put under increasing pressure due to greater life expectancy, reports Sara White

Tax / Lewis: probate fees set to hit £20k for larger estates

The government recently announced that probate fees will rise, in some cases by substantial amounts, with the stated aim of helping to fund the modernisation of the courts and tribunals service. Anne Lewis, partner at Cripps, considers the potential pitfalls for high net worth individuals

Tax / Budget 2017 briefing: key measures at a glance

In our roundup of the Budget 2017 essentials, we review the key tax measures announced in a slimline event, from the unexpected hike in national insurance rates for the self employed to a cut in the tax-free dividend allowance, potential tax liability for pensions transferred overseas, corporation tax cuts and VAT roaming charges for long haul travellers for the first time

Insight / Call for new ‘superfunds’ to solve DB pension failures

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), the UK pensions trade body, is calling for legislation to create new  ‘superfunds’ to consolidate defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, to reduce the risk of scheme members missing out on benefits if their employer goes bust

Insight / FCA consults on redress methodology for pension transfers

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is consulting on updating the methodology used when calculating the amount of redress payable in cases where the advice given to individuals to transfer from a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme to a personal pension was unsuitable

Accounting / Pension deficits: dividends and distributable reserves

Pensions are an increasingly pressing issue for UK companies and in recent months the burden has become so great that it has started impinging more and more on companies’ dividends and ability to raise capital, explains Alex Waite, partner at Lane Clark & Peacock

Tax / Budget 2017: 25% charge on pension transfers to QROPS

The government is to introduce a 25% charge on transfers to qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS) as part of its measures against tax avoidance, it has been confirmed in the Budget 

Insight / UK defined benefit pension deficit balloons to £520bn

There has been a £50bn hike in the combined deficit of the UK’s pension funds according to figures from PwC, which says it now totals £520bn and forecasts it will take until 2050 to halve the value of today’s total liabilities (in current monetary terms)

Insight / Sir Philip Green to make £363m BHS pension contribution

Sir Philip Green has pledged to pay up to £363m into the BHS pension pot, having promised to ‘sort’ the retailer’s shortfall in a parliamentary inquiry last year

Insight / Pension rule changes effective March 2017

As well as the Spring budget, March brings a raft of key dates to consider regarding pensions, including the introduction of capped early exit charges, the deduction of the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) from £10,000 to £4,000 and new legislation on schemes without a sponsor

Insight / Women lose out on pension auto-enrolment

Women are being unfairly disadvantaged over pensions, because they are more likely to have multiple low-paid jobs and cannot meet auto-enrolment requirements, according to research by Citizens Advice, which is advocating a change to the rules

Insight / DWP consults on defined benefit pension scheme reforms

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a consultation on measures to ensure defined benefit (DB) pension schemes within the private sector remain a secure and sustainable option, given the growing number of schemes in deficit

Insight / Death announced of former Maxwell whistleblower

The death has been announced of Basil Brookes, the former finance director at Maxwell Communication Corporation, and one of the whistleblowers to raise concerns over accounting issues within Robert Maxwell’s publishing empire, which included the Mirror newspaper

Tax / HMRC axes QROPS digital service for overseas pension reporting

HMRC is to close the online service for managing qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS) in six weeks’ time, while plans to limit overseas transfers have come under fire

Insight / Consultation on auto enrolment technical changes

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is consulting on plans to make two technical changes to the automatic enrolment process, which will apply to new employers due to become subject to automatic enrolment duties during 2017, and are designed to make the transition easier