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Churchill Wealth Management Ltd
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Changing options in travel insurance

The losses people incurred on the failure of Monarch Airlines are prompting changes in travel insurance, says the Times.  Less than a third of policies cover such failures as standard, but more are offering it as an add-on. This cover is more valuable now that the costs of accommodation are often far greater than the cost of the flight. There are also new policies that enable you to top up the cover you have with your current travel insurance.
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Watch out for 'ruin risk' with drawdown

People using the pension freedoms to draw income from a pot of investments may be taking more risk than they realise, says the Telegraph. Citing research by actuaries, it said that in almost a third of cases people's money could run out years before they died.

This is because these 'drawdown' strategies involve consuming some capital, and unlike annuities this exposes you to investment risk. With a typical balanced strategy, an annual return of 3.6 per cent would see a 65-year-old man's capital last until age 90 - but over a third of men now aged 65 are expected to live beyond that age. Experts advised covering essential spending with annuities or other income sources so that invested capital would last longer.
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London lockout for first-time buyers

Four out of five first-time buyers in London and the South-East cannot afford the typical new-build property, says the Mail.  To be 'affordable' even to  40 per cent of buyers a new-build property would have to cost £250,000 or less compared with the typical London price of £435,000. The biggest reason for this is the chronic shortage of land released to build new homes on in this area. Affordability in London has worsened by 38.8 per cent since 2007 (compared with an average for England of 3.3 per cent), as house prices have rocketed but wages have stagnated.
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Use pensions to beat inheritance tax

Pensions can help you avoid inheritance tax bills, says the Mail. If you have a defined contribution pension plan, its value on your death is free from inheritance tax and can be left to anyone you choose.

If you die before the age of 75, the beneficiaries don't pay any tax either. And though they are in theory liable to income tax on a bequest of a pension if you die after the age of 75, many can avoid this - grandchildren, for example, will probably have no income and pay no tax, but still have their own personal tax allowance of £11,500 and could withdraw this amount each year without incurring any tax liability.

Dangers of a price cap

Theresa May's promise to introduce a price cap on energy bills may not improve the situation of those on Standard Variable Tariffs, says the Independent. Prices in this category have risen by an average of 8 per cent or three times the rate of inflation over the past 12 months. And finding a good deal is getting harder since price comparison sites are not bound to show all the available offers. A majority of utility customers are on SVTs and are paying about £300 a year more than they need to for their energy.

Student loan savings

The rise in the repayment threshold for student loans from £21,000 to £25,000 announced by the Prime Minister at the Conservative party conference will save individual graduates £30 per month and up to £15,700 over their working lives, says the Times, quoting research by the Institute of Fiscal Studies. The cost to the Treasury will be £2.3 billion per year. The IFS also says that 83 per cent of graduates will not repay their loans in full (after 30 years any remaining loan balance is written off) and that under the revised rules, 45% of all student debt will never be repaid.

No cheap cover for that

The collapse of Monarch airlines prompted newspapers to ask: was that covered by travel insurance? The answer given by the Times was that under half of travel insurance policies cover the failure of an airline (most also exclude acts of god such as hurricanes, and acts of terrorism). Experts said a plethora of cheap travel insurance policies had whittled away at coverage and policyholders needed to be aware of just what was and wasn't covered.

Mortgage rates tick up

Some of the best-value mortgage lending offers have been withdrawn as the Bank of England has warned that a rise in interest rates is imminent, says the Mail. But one lender is still offering a 2-year fix at 0.99 per cent and several 5-year fixed rates are on offer at under 2 per cent. Economists expect the Bank of England's base rate to rise to 1.75 per cent by the end of 2019.

Financial Advice Bristol

If you would like to speak with one of our Independent Financial Advisors and potentially receive financial advice, please contact us on 0117 923 7652. We are based in Clifton, Bristol but we are happy to service clients from across the UK and we provide free initial meetings at our client’s convenience.

Churchill Wealth Management Limited is located at 13 Alma Vale Rd, Bristol BS8 2HL, United Kingdom.

About Us: Churchill Wealth Management is a team of #independent financial advisors#/#financial planners# (IFAs) based in Clifton, Bristol (http://www.churchillwealthmanagement.co.uk/).

We provide independent# financial advice#, including #pension advice#, #investment advice#, #inheritance tax planning#, protection/#insurance advice# and #ethical investment advice# through our trading style Churchill Ethical Investment (http://www.churchillethicalinvestment.com).



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Use pensions to beat inheritance tax

Pensions can help you avoid inheritance tax bills, says the Mail. If you have a defined contribution pension plan, its value on your death is free from inheritance tax and can be left to anyone you choose.

If you die before the age of 75, the beneficiaries don't pay any tax either. And though they are in theory liable to income tax on a bequest of a pension if you die after the age of 75, many can avoid this - grandchildren, for example, will probably have no income and pay no tax, but still have their own personal tax allowance of £11,500 and could withdraw this amount each year without incurring any tax liability.

Dangers of a price cap

Theresa May's promise to introduce a price cap on energy bills may not improve the situation of those on Standard Variable Tariffs, says the Independent. Prices in this category have risen by an average of 8 per cent or three times the rate of inflation over the past 12 months. And finding a good deal is getting harder since price comparison sites are not bound to show all the available offers. A majority of utility customers are on SVTs and are paying about £300 a year more than they need to for their energy.

Student loan savings

The rise in the repayment threshold for student loans from £21,000 to £25,000 announced by the Prime Minister at the Conservative party conference will save individual graduates £30 per month and up to £15,700 over their working lives, says the Times, quoting research by the Institute of Fiscal Studies. The cost to the Treasury will be £2.3 billion per year. The IFS also says that 83 per cent of graduates will not repay their loans in full (after 30 years any remaining loan balance is written off) and that under the revised rules, 45% of all student debt will never be repaid.

No cheap cover for that

The collapse of Monarch airlines prompted newspapers to ask: was that covered by travel insurance? The answer given by the Times was that under half of travel insurance policies cover the failure of an airline (most also exclude acts of god such as hurricanes, and acts of terrorism). Experts said a plethora of cheap travel insurance policies had whittled away at coverage and policyholders needed to be aware of just what was and wasn't covered.

Mortgage rates tick up

Some of the best-value mortgage lending offers have been withdrawn as the Bank of England has warned that a rise in interest rates is imminent, says the Mail. But one lender is still offering a 2-year fix at 0.99 per cent and several 5-year fixed rates are on offer at under 2 per cent. Economists expect the Bank of England's base rate to rise to 1.75 per cent by the end of 2019.

Financial Advice Bristol

If you would like to speak with one of our Independent Financial Advisors and potentially receive financial advice, please contact us on 0117 923 7652. We are based in Clifton, Bristol but we are happy to service clients from across the UK and we provide free initial meetings at our client’s convenience.

Churchill Wealth Management Limited is located at 13 Alma Vale Rd, Bristol BS8 2HL, United Kingdom.

About Us: Churchill Wealth Management is a team of #independent financial advisors#/#financial planners# (IFAs) based in Clifton, Bristol (http://www.churchillwealthmanagement.co.uk/).

We provide independent# financial advice#, including #pension advice#, #investment advice#, #inheritance tax planning#, protection/#insurance advice# and #ethical investment advice# through our trading style Churchill Ethical Investment (http://www.churchillethicalinvestment.com).
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L&G swoops for Helena Morrissey (Fund Management)

Legal & General’s fund management arm LGIM has hired former Newton boss Helena Morrissey in the newly created role of head of personal investing (Fund Management).

Morrissey stepped down as Newton chief executive last August after being with the fund group for 15 years. She chairs the investment Association and set up the 30 per cent Club in 2010 to campaign for more women on boards. She also chairs the Diversity Project which aims to encourage a more inclusive savings and investment industry.

Morrissey will join LGIM as part of its UK direct-to-consumer business on 1 May, subject to regulatory approval.

She says: “I wanted a role where I could make a real difference to how the industry engages with its customers. LGIM has the potential to be not just a market leader in this space but to develop a genuinely different approach.

“There is no doubt the UK direct savings market is highly competitive and moving very quickly: we are looking to get to the point where we are all using technology to access funds in the same way that we use Amazon to access books. Our focus will be on building a service, not a sales process.”

LGIM chief executive Mark Zinkula says: “We are very excited Helena is joining us at LGIM. She is highly respected and one of the most progressive thinkers in the industry. She is passionate about understanding and meeting the needs of investors, and is the right person to lead LGIM’s D2C business.”

LGIM chief executive Mark Zinkula says: “We are very excited Helena is joining us at LGIM. She is highly respected and one of the most progressive thinkers in the industry. She is passionate about understanding and meeting the needs of investors, and is the right person to lead LGIM’s D2C business.”

(Money Marketing, 2017)

Financial Advice Bristol

If you would like to speak with one of our Independent Financial Advisors and potentially receive financial advice, please contact us on 0117 923 7652. We are based in Clifton, Bristol but we are happy to service clients from across the UK and we provide free initial meetings at our client’s convenience.

Churchill Wealth Management Limited is located at 13 Alma Vale Rd, Bristol BS8 2HL, United Kingdom.

About Us: Churchill Wealth Management is a team of #independent financial advisors#/#financial planners# (IFAs) based in Clifton, Bristol (http://www.churchillwealthmanagement.co.uk/).

We provide independent# financial advice#, including #pension advice#, #investment advice#, #inheritance tax planning#, protection/#insurance advice# and #ethical investment advice# through our trading style Churchill Ethical Investment (http://www.churchillethicalinvestment.com).



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Government toughens master trust regulation (Trust Advice)

The Government is introducing legislation in the Pension Schemes Bill to protect people saving for retirement through master trusts. This follows industry concerns on the risks to members of a master trust failing. In this article, we consider the changes being introduced, why they are needed and their likely effect (Trust Advice).

What are the changes?

The Pension Schemes Bill sets out five criteria that master trusts will have to meet:

The people involved in the scheme must be fit and proper
Concerns have been raised by many people that some smaller master trusts ‘may not be run by competent people’. This potentially puts members’ savings in these master trusts at greater risk. The bill aims to address this by placing a duty on The Pensions Regulator to approve each person involved in the master trust as fit and proper. This would put master trusts on a similar footing to contract-based arrangements where the focus is on individual accountability.

The scheme is financially sustainable
Many master trusts are too small to be financially viable. The bill will require master trusts to demonstrate they are financially sustainable and have sufficient resources to cover their costs. Members need confidence the master trusts into which they are saving will still be around when they come to take their savings. Providers of contract-based arrangements already have to comply with the FCA/PRA capital adequacy rules.

The scheme funder must be a separate legal entity and provide assurances about its financial position
Activities will be restricted to those directly related to the scheme and will provide certain financial assurances. This will provide members with greater protection as the resources and finances of the entity can’t be diverted for other business purposes of the scheme funder.

The scheme must have adequate systems and processes in place to ensure that it is run effectively
Governance and administration lie at the heart of delivering good member outcomes. Although most master trusts are well run, those that are not may be placing members’ savings at risk. The bill will require master trusts to put effective systems and controls in place to prevent this from happening. These are standard in contract-based arrangements.

The scheme has an adequate continuity strategy
Members should not be left to pick up the costs of a failing master trust. The bill will require master trusts to have a continuity strategy detailing how members’ interests are protected in the event of a trigger incident (e.g. the scheme funder decides to withdraw from the scheme). Such costs should therefore not fall on members. On contract-based arrangements, members’ interests are protected on the failing of a provider through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The bill also gives The Pensions Regulator new powers to intervene where a master trust risks failing to meet these criteria.

Why are these changes needed?

The Pension Schemes Bill intends to address the fact that master trusts have traditionally been subject to a lighter-touch regulatory regime than contract-based arrangements such as group personal pensions, which are regulated by the FCA. It aims to drive up the standards of master trusts by requiring them to meet higher operating criteria.

Automatic enrolment is bringing large numbers of people into saving for retirement for the first time. These individuals need reassurance that the master trust into which they are saving is run by fit and proper people and their savings are being properly managed.

These changes will increase the standards applying to master trusts and bring them more in line with those already applying to contract-based arrangements.

What is the likely effect of the changes?

Many people predict there will be significant master trust consolidation following the new authorisation criteria that master trusts will need to meet. According to The Pensions Regulator, there are over 70 master trusts and this number is expected to reduce substantially.

Consolidation will be a good outcome if it results in fewer, larger-scale, more secure and better-run master trusts. Members of these master trusts can have greater confidence their savings are safe with less risk of the master trust failing.

These changes should help to make master trusts stronger, more durable and better placed to deliver good member outcomes. Contract-based arrangements don’t have similar issues to master trusts as they are already compliant with these changes.

(Money Marketing, 2017)

Financial Advice Bristol

If you would like to speak with one of our Independent Financial Advisors and potentially receive financial advice, please contact us on 0117 923 7652. We are based in Clifton, Bristol but we are happy to service clients from across the UK and we provide free initial meetings at our client’s convenience.

Churchill Wealth Management Limited is located at 13 Alma Vale Rd, Bristol BS8 2HL, United Kingdom.

About Us: Churchill Wealth Management is a team of #independent financial advisors#/#financial planners# (IFAs) based in Clifton, Bristol (http://www.churchillwealthmanagement.co.uk/).

We provide independent# financial advice#, including #pension advice#, #investment advice#, #inheritance tax planning#, protection/#insurance advice# and #ethical investment advice# through our trading style Churchill Ethical Investment (http://www.churchillethicalinvestment.com).
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Over £9.2bn accessed through pension freedoms

Savers have accessed a total of £9.2bn through pension freedoms since the reforms were announced, with around £1.6bn taken from pension pots in the last three months.

Figures published by HM Revenue & Customs show a total of 516,000 payments were made from pension pots between April 2015 and March 2016, and over one million payments were made between April 2016 and the end of last year.

The number of individuals accessing their pension on a quarterly basis has almost doubled from 84,000 in the three months to June 2015 to 162,000 as at the end of 2016.

The data from HMRC covers “flexible payments” from pensions, which include full or partial withdrawals, flexible drawdown and buying a flexible annuity.

The Treasury says guidance service Pension Wise has had over 3.7 million visits to the website and carried out over 100,000 appointments since pension freedoms was introduced in April 2015.

Treasury economic secretary Simon Kirby says: “Giving people freedom over what they do with their hard-earned savings, whether it’s buying an annuity or taking a cash lump sum, is the right thing to do.

“We are working with our partners, including Pension Wise, the regulators and pension firms, so that savers have the support they need to understand the options available to them.”

Just group communications director Steve Lowe says: “We are now nearly two years into the new rules and, despite the official figures, we remain in the dark about how many of those taking pension cash lump sums are thinking about their long-term financial security and how many are grabbing it to spend while they can.

“We need a lot more detail if we are going to identify and head off any future problems.”

AJ Bell pension expert Gareth James says: “Whilst it is good to see the pension freedoms are being utilised by a large number of people, it is dangerous to use the £9.2bn as a measure of success when it doesn’t tell us what people are doing with that money.

“Are they using it to provide a regular and sustainable income as pensions are designed to do, or are they spending it too quickly and likely to run out of money too quickly?”

He adds: “It is important the Government carries out a more detailed analysis of how the pension freedoms are being used before any realistic assessment of their success can be made.”

(Money Marketing, 2017)

Financial Advice Bristol

If you would like to speak with one of our Independent Financial Advisors and potentially receive financial advice, please contact us on 0117 923 7652. We are based in Clifton, Bristol but we are happy to service clients from across the UK and we provide free initial meetings at our client’s convenience.

Churchill Wealth Management Limited is located at 13 Alma Vale Rd, Bristol BS8 2HL, United Kingdom.

About Us: Churchill Wealth Management is a team of #independent financial advisors#/#financial planners# (IFAs) based in Clifton, Bristol (http://www.churchillwealthmanagement.co.uk/).

We provide independent# financial advice#, including #pension advice#, #investment advice#, #inheritance tax planning#, protection/#insurance advice# and #ethical investment advice# through our trading style Churchill Ethical Investment (http://www.churchillethicalinvestment.com).
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Generation rent

The proportion of 25-year-olds who own their own home has fallen from 46 per cent to 25 per cent in the past 20 years, says the Telegraph, citing research by estate agency Savills. But it is not just the young - the overall proportion of home owners has fallen from 72.9 per cent from its peak in 2004 to 64.1 per cent today. Rents are now much higher than mortgage payments, partly the result of an 88 per cent fall in the amount of social housing being built today compared with 20 years ago.



Inflation ahead

Three-quarters of the economists responding to the Financial Times' annual survey said UK inflation was likely to top 2 per cent in 2017, while a third of them expected inflation to exceed 3 per cent during the year. The 15 per cent decline in the exchange value of the £ is cited as the main cause, though there is still much disagreement on how quickly that will feed through to retail prices. Most economists still agree with the Bank of England that the rise in inflation will be temporary, since there is as yet no sign of an upturn in average earnings.

BTL landlords expect double hit

A survey of Buy to Let owners reveals that over 60 per cent of them expect to be hit not just by restrictions on the tax relief on mortgage interest (which will be cut from 40 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020) but by new affordability rules on BTL lending set by the Bank of England. These rules seem likely to penalise landlords with more than four properties, says the Financial Times.

Courier wins gig economy case

A courier for a London bicycle delivery firm has won her employment tribunal case to be regarded as an employee rather than a self employed contractor. Ominously for business owners, the judge described the company's depiction of its couriers as self employed as 'window dressing.' Several similar cases are due to be heard shortly by the same judge. Lawyers interviewed by the Financial Times said thousands more couriers were likely to pursue similar cases.

Financial Advice Bristol

If you would like to speak with one of our Independent Financial Advisors and potentially receive financial advice, please contact us on 0117 923 7652. We are based in Clifton, Bristol but we are happy to service clients from across the UK and we provide free initial meetings at our client’s convenience.

Churchill Wealth Management Limited is located at 13 Alma Vale Rd, Bristol BS8 2HL, United Kingdom.

About Us: Churchill Wealth Management is a team of #independent financial advisors#/#financial planners# (IFAs) based in Clifton, Bristol (http://www.churchillwealthmanagement.co.uk/).

We provide independent# financial advice#, including #pension advice#, #investment advice#, #inheritance tax planning#, protection/#insurance advice# and #ethical investment advice# through our trading style Churchill Ethical Investment (http://www.churchillethicalinvestment.com).
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Generation rent

The proportion of 25-year-olds who own their own home has fallen from 46 per cent to 25 per cent in the past 20 years, says the Telegraph, citing research by estate agency Savills. But it is not just the young - the overall proportion of home owners has fallen from 72.9 per cent from its peak in 2004 to 64.1 per cent today. Rents are now much higher than mortgage payments, partly the result of an 88 per cent fall in the amount of social housing being built today compared with 20 years ago.



Inflation ahead

Three-quarters of the economists responding to the Financial Times' annual survey said UK inflation was likely to top 2 per cent in 2017, while a third of them expected inflation to exceed 3 per cent during the year. The 15 per cent decline in the exchange value of the £ is cited as the main cause, though there is still much disagreement on how quickly that will feed through to retail prices. Most economists still agree with the Bank of England that the rise in inflation will be temporary, since there is as yet no sign of an upturn in average earnings.

BTL landlords expect double hit

A survey of Buy to Let owners reveals that over 60 per cent of them expect to be hit not just by restrictions on the tax relief on mortgage interest (which will be cut from 40 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020) but by new affordability rules on BTL lending set by the Bank of England. These rules seem likely to penalise landlords with more than four properties, says the Financial Times.

Courier wins gig economy case

A courier for a London bicycle delivery firm has won her employment tribunal case to be regarded as an employee rather than a self employed contractor. Ominously for business owners, the judge described the company's depiction of its couriers as self employed as 'window dressing.' Several similar cases are due to be heard shortly by the same judge. Lawyers interviewed by the Financial Times said thousands more couriers were likely to pursue similar cases.

Financial Advice Bristol

If you would like to speak with one of our Independent Financial Advisors and potentially receive financial advice, please contact us on 0117 923 7652. We are based in Clifton, Bristol but we are happy to service clients from across the UK and we provide free initial meetings at our client’s convenience.

Churchill Wealth Management Limited is located at 13 Alma Vale Rd, Bristol BS8 2HL, United Kingdom.

About Us: Churchill Wealth Management is a team of #independent financial advisors#/#financial planners# (IFAs) based in Clifton, Bristol (http://www.churchillwealthmanagement.co.uk/).

We provide independent# financial advice#, including #pension advice#, #investment advice#, #inheritance tax planning#, protection/#insurance advice# and #ethical investment advice# through our trading style Churchill Ethical Investment (http://www.churchillethicalinvestment.com).

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