Stephen Groves

Author Archives

  • Safe

    £1m pensions feared to be locked away: Are you protecting yours?

    Around £1m of pensions funds are feared to have been locked away, by a scheme that is refusing to allow customers aces to their money. The company, Fast Pensions, has had 18 complaints upheld against them over the past two years by the Pension Ombudsman, following a spate of customers reporting missing statements and non-communication […]

  • Election Uncertainty

    ‘Sell in May and go away’, runs the old stockmarket adage – but what happens when May involves a UK General Election? The next General Election is scheduled to take place on Thursday 7 May 2015. However, the result of the election – whether an outright victory for one party or some shade of coalition […]

  • Interest Rates – When Not If

    UK interest rates have languished at an all-time low of 0.5% since March 2009 in a strategy designed to shore up the UK economy through the pain and the aftermath of the financial crisis and recession. As the economy continues to exhibit signs of sustained recovery, however, interest rates are now widely tipped to rise […]

  • A New Dawn For Pensions

    The 2014 Autumn Statement confirmed the dawning of a new era in pensions. A number of the changes had already been well-flagged – for example, the removal of the cap on drawdown income from April 2015, which will allow all individuals to take as much or as little as desired from their pension pot, though […]

  • New ISA Benefit For Spouses

    The 2014 Autumn Statement provided another opportunity for Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to make Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) more attractive to investors and he duly obliged. Over the past five years, a range of mostly welcome changes have included broadening the scope of allowable investments – to incorporate retail bonds, peer-to-peer lending and […]

  • Changes In Stamp Duty

    The process of buying a house has undergone an overhaul with the wholesale reform of the stamp duty system. Before the changes implemented in the 2014 Autumn Statement, stamp duty was paid at a single rate on the entire price of the property. While 75% of house purchases in England and Wales incurred stamp duty […]

  • Europe Concerns Impact FTSE

    The FTSE 100 index experienced high levels of volatility over the first half of October as investors mulled the possibility of another economic downturn in the eurozone and, at one point, the blue-chip index dropped to its lowest level since the middle of 2013. Over the month as a whole, the FTSE 100 fell by […]

  • 55% pension death tax to be abolished

    Following the pension freedoms introduced in the Budget earlier in the year, the government has now announced major changes to the tax treatment of pensions on death. These changes mean that those people taking income drawdown, or the new flexible access drawdown from April 2015, will be able to be passed on to chosen beneficiaries […]

  • Flexible access to your pension pot from April 2015

    Recent legislative changes designed to introduce “Freedom and Choice in Pensions” will take effect on 6th April 2015. Individuals will have a choice to be able to take whatever income they choose from their pension pot once they are over age 55. This provides greater flexibility than ever before in pensions, however good planning is […]