News and blog

Changes to Premium Bonds

Premium Bonds from the National Savings and Investments (NS&I), are a popular savings vehicle to help boost retirement income. Each Premium Bond costs £1 and an individual can purchase a minimum of £100 worth, or £50 if a standing order is created.

Instead of earning interest on money that you save via Premium Bonds, you are entered into a monthly prize draw where you can win between £25 to £1million. Your chances of winning on any one Premium Bond are equivalent to a 1.3% interest rate and any prizes that you do win are tax-free.

Your countdown to retirement

Whether it's saving for a long awaited summer holiday, home improvement or a new car, most of us have an idea of how much our latest purchase will cost and in reality how much our budget will stretch. However, our careful planning and preparation doesn't always translate to some of the most important decisions we will make, our pensions being a prime example!

How to improve your poor performing retirement savings

According to The Telegraph, after a series of brutal cuts to both old and new savings accounts in the last 12 months, banks and building societies have reduced the interest paid to savers by almost £1bn in a year.

The latest results mean that millions of individuals have been forced to accept lower returns on their savings over the last year. According to a document released by The Bank of England, the total amount of money collectively placed into savings accounts by UK account holders rose by £55 billion between March 2013 and 2014, meaning that whilst rates have fallen the demand has increased.

Pension or NISA, which one is nicer?

Both pensions and ISAs have been subject to radical reforms over the last few months, reopening the debate on where is the best place to save for retirement. So which is better? Does the pension's upfront tax relief trump the tax free growth within a new ISA (NISA), after the pension income has been taxed on the way out? And what if an individual's tax rates change between saving and retirement? We take a look at the numbers involved and the additional factors which come into the equation.

The 2014 Budget at a glance – key facts that may affect your future finances

It's that time of year again; the 2014 Budget has now been released. The latest announcement from George Osborne puts savers "at the centre", highlighting a range of new measures that will affect future finances. Geared towards the over 50s, this year's Budget includes big changes to private pensions, some of which are coming into effect before the end of next week while other more radical changes are proposed to take effect from 6 April 2015.

These changes open up significant opportunities for more people, reinforcing the importance of seeking financial advice. To help you digest what the proposed changes mean, we list below the major changes and what yesterday's Budget signifies for the over 50s.

Changes to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) relief on second properties

Tax breaks for people who own more than one property will be scaled back from the 6th April 2014. Later this year, the Government will reduce the amount of capital gains tax (CGT) relief available on sales of second homes from three years to 18 months.

Capital Gains Tax is a tax on the gain or profit you make when you sell a property. If you own more than one property, the second will be liable for tax when it is sold. Owners can elect which property is treated as their main residence, as long this is done within two years of buying a second property.

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