News and blog

European Court of Justice ruling will change the future of retirement ...

Pension experts have branded the European Court of Justice gender ruling a “seismic event” that is set to reshape the retirement landscape.

The ECJ published its ruling today in the test case brought by Test-Achats, who claimed it was gender discrimination to charge men and women differently for products such as annuities and life insurance.

The ruling will not be applied until the end of next year but will affect car insurance, life insurance, private medical insurance and pension schemes, as well as the cost of buying an annuity.

A reminder...

Pat blogged late last year about the offer more options campaign. This campaign centres around the lack of clarity regarding the options available at the time people come to retire.

We at Retirement and Investment Solutions passionately believe that everybody should seek advice at retirement. Far too many people simply take the options provided to them by their existing provider unaware that they could potentially increase the level of income or flexibility in retirement.

Savings protection limit increased to £85,000

The compensation limit for people who lose money if their bank, building society or credit union goes bust, has increased from £50,000 to £85,000.

The new limit began on 31st December and applies to every customer at each authorised firm, however publicity surrounding the change has been somewhat lacking.

The new limit is part of a Europe-wide requirement for each country to offer compensation equivalent to 100,000 euros.

Top 10 Ways To Take the Fear Out of Retiring

1."What do you mean, you hate to travel?"

Have you and your spouse actually sat down and discussed how each of you envision retirement? If your dreams are completely opposite to your spouse's both of you are going to be disappointed. Talk honestly about your retirement plans and goals before you get the gold watch. Be creative and open to compromise, so that both of your dreams can come true.

2."You mean, you're here ALL the time, now?"

Spending all this quality time together may seem like a wonderful idea, but remember, you both have daily routines, some of which may have been 30 years in the making. Also, you're not used to spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in each other's company. Recognize and respect the needs both of you have for space, as well as each other's routines.

Retirement Expert

Here are a selection of the recent questions that have been submitted to the Retirement Expert which you may have seen in local publications.

Should you have a question for the Retirement Expert – simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Steve will respond to your query and you may be published in our next feature.

Only one option in Retirement – really??

Martin Lewis – the renowned 'Money Saving Expert' – got the pensions industry experts up in arms after a blatant gaffe on ITV’s Daybreak programme.

The backlash, notably on Twitter, was after Mr Lewis claimed pension pots have to be converted to an annuity in retirement. 

Daybreak presenter Adrian Chiles asked whether 'you can’t just draw the money out' of a pension when you get to retirement.

Lewis replied: 'You can't draw the money, it's a payment each year for life.' As that’s how easy ii is to land yourself in hot water if you don’t cover all the facts!

Councils stop elderly from getting help

Thousands of elderly people are paying nursing home fees that should be covered by the NHS.

At the heart of this problem is whether those going into a nursing home qualify for NHS “continuing care”. Unlike care provided by the local authority, this is not means tested, so those qualifying should get their care bills paid in full by the NHS, regardless of whether or not they are home owners.

This can make a huge financial difference to many families. Those who don’t qualify for continuing care face stringent means tests. Anyone with assets of more than £23,250, which in most cases will include the value of the family home, will have to pay the lion’s share of their care costs.

Tax Rebate or spam?? Watch out for a too good to be true email!

At this time of year with many of us having just filed our tax returns, it seem the scammers have again reacted by issuing millions of fake HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) emails titled Tax Rebate or Tax Refund New Message alert!

The emails offer a hyper link to claim your “tax rebate” and the link takes you through to a fake HMRC website where bank or credit card details are requested.

A gift with a difference ....

This is not an encouragement or recommendation to buy gold (personally I don’t even think gold’s a very good investment) but it does have at least one big attraction over almost every other financial investment – you can see it, you can touch it, you can carry it from one place to another, you can show it off to your friends.

I’m not talking about gold jewellery.

No, I’m talking about pure gold that you can handle.

Inflation linked savings bonds are back!!

A limited addition inflation- linked savings bond has just been launched by Birmingham Midshires, it promises to pay an interest rate of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) – currently 4.8pc – plus 0.25 percentage points, for five years.

You may recall from our previous news article inflation linked offerings from NS&I and National Counties Building Society were met with such high demand, that they sold out in a matter of days!

So with Mervyn King warning households that inflation is set to rise to 5pc this year I would expect demand for the BM Savings bond to be just as high. The bank would not reveal how much it intended to take in but it has warned that it could withdraw the product at any time.

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Retirement and Investment Solutions
5 Lancer House, Hussar Court
Hampshire, PO7 7SE

T: 01489 878300
F: 0870 0104883