Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Continuing Pension Revolution

Pension legislation is set to change in April 2015; people will have the freedom to take as much pension income, taxed at their marginal rate, as they wish.

The Government, last week, announced they will abolish the pension’s death tax charge.

What are the current rules?

If a person were to die before age 75, their defined contribution (DC) pension can be passed on tax-free to their beneficiaries as long as they have not drawn any money from it.  If they have, the residual pension will be taxed at 55% before it is passed on.

If over 75, whether in drawdown or not, the pension will be taxed at 55% unless passed to a spouse or dependant under the age of 23.

What will change?

Under the age of 75, the pension will be passed on tax-free, whether untouched or in drawdown.

The person receiving the pension will pay no tax on the money they withdraw from that pension, whether it is taken as a single lump sum, or accessed through drawdown.

If over 75, their pension will be passed on to a beneficiary who will be able to drawdown the inherited pension at their own marginal rate of income tax.  Beneficiaries will also have the option of receiving the pension as a lump sum payment, subject to a tax charge of 45%.

If you have any queries about your retirement & Estate planning, please call us on 01932 830664 to arrange an initial meeting, held at our cost, with one of our qualified Financial Advisers at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd.

Source: HM Treasury, website, 29 September 2014

Monday, 13 October 2014

Mystery Shopper - WWFS awarded 'Shopper's Choice'

In order to maintain and improve standards, Unbiased, the UK’s biggest IFA search site undertakes a Mystery Shopper exercise, the results of which are published in the Financial Adviser magazine.  Each week a mystery shopper seeks advice from a randomly selected group of independent and tied advisers from regions in the UK.  The aim is to find out whether advisers are delivering the goods when it comes to the all-important initial telephone contact between client and adviser.  It is only intended to evaluate this first interview, and it is understood that further meetings would be necessary before final decisions could be made. 

Ward Williams Financial Services were called as part of the programme staged in Watford during a week in September.  The scenario was that a potential client and his partner had saved money in a Cash ISA for years, and were looking to put their £60,000 savings into something that yields more than 1.2%.  He was concerned about the prospect of not having access to his savings, so wanted somewhere easily accessible.

The outcome of the exercise was that Ward Williams Financial Services were awarded the ‘Shopper’s Choice’ and scored 33/35.  You can read the article online by following this link:

If you wish to review your financial affairs, please contact Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or email