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Glen Callow

7 Jun 2017

Transfer questions

Giving up the secure income from a final salary pension scheme is a big decision, says the Telegraph. Though current transfer values seem huge, they are often compared with the wrong figure: the pension entitlement at the time you left the scheme. Instead, the transfer value should be compared to the revalued income. When you do this, the transfer value may be more like 20 times the future pension rather than over 30 times. The only people for whom a decision is clear cut are those in ill health or with no dependants, for whom the control and inheritability of an independent pension fund are often much more valuable than a lifetime income promise.
Glen Callow

6 Jun 2017

Make big savings on your mortgage

People whose initial mortgage deals have expired are automatically transferred to the lender's Standard Variable Rate. Usually, this is well above the best rates available elsewhere (the current average is 4.8 per cent) and many people could save thousands each year by switching their loan, says the Mail. Yet surveys show that people are twice as likely to switch energy supplier – for a much smaller saving - than mortgage lender. Current best-buy rates of just over 1 per cent for two-year fixes mean someone with a £150,000 loan could save £500 per month by switching from SVR.
Glen Callow

5 Jun 2017

More pay top tax rate

In 2015-16, over 364,000 people paid the top rate of income tax of 45 per cent on incomes of over £150,000, up from 311,000 the previous year, says the BBC. A further 4.2 million people, or 13.7 per cent of all taxpayers, pay the 40 per cent rate. The top 1 per cent of taxpayers had 12 per cent of total UK income and paid 27.7 per cent of all the income tax collected by HMRC.
Glen Callow

22 Mar 2017

Home ownership at 30-year low

The percentage of people in England owning their own home has hit a 30-year low, says the Financial Times. In 2015-16 owners were 62.9 per cent of the population, the lowest since 1985. Over the same period the number renting has grown to account for almost 20 per cent, with 250,000 households joining the rental sector last year. Over the past ten years, the number of homes owned outright with no mortgage has risen by 1.3 million while the number owned with a mortgage has fallen by 1.7 million. The biggest drop in home ownership has been among those aged 35-44.
Glen Callow

21 Mar 2017

Challenge to equal divorce split rule

The latest divorce case to reach the High Court challenges the principle of an equal split of assets, says the Financial Times. The high-earning wife is seeking to overturn a High Court settlement and reduce the payment to her ex-husband from £2.74 million to £1.2 million, on the basis that she contributed far more to the couple's wealth. A key point is that the marriage lasted only four years and the wife is arguing that the principle of equal division may be fair for longer marriages but should not apply to short ones. Lawyers say a judgement in her favour could affect many divorce settlements in the future.

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