Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Marie Curie Corporate Sponsorship

In September 2015, the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd decided that we had reached the position where we wanted to give something back to the community in which we work.  After much consideration, we agreed that we would like to support the excellent and vital work that is done by Marie Curie and their nurses and we had discussions with them locally about how we could best help. 

In the end we became a corporate sponsor and active promotor of their work and for the last two years they have been the recipient of our corporate donations.  We have also supported two Will Writing Campaigns and we have held 3 Cake Bakes to raise additional funds.

We now feel that the time has come to review our sponsorship and look to support other important and worthwhile causes.  We have, however, been proud and delighted to be involved with Marie Curie over the past two years and there will still remain a tie between us in our minds as they continue their crucial work.

Tax-efficient options

As life expectancy in the UK continues to rise, financial planning is becoming increasingly important. If you are thinking of saving for retirement, then you might consider a pension to be the best way to ensure you have enough to live on when you are older. However, this is not the only way to achieve your retirement goals, and Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) can form a useful component in your long-term financial plans.

Pensions and ISAs receive different tax treatment. Payments into your pension will qualify for tax rebates up-front at your highest rate of income tax (subject to certain limits) and 25% of any withdrawals can be taken tax-free; however, the income you receive will be taxable. In comparison, ISA contributions come from taxed income, but any withdrawals are tax-free. Also, it is important to remember your pension income counts towards your personal tax-free allowance, whereas your ISA withdrawals do not.

As such, the choice between pensions or ISAs could seem to boil down to the relatively straightforward question of rates. If someone receives higher-rate tax relief on their pension contributions, but only pays lower-rate tax on their income at retirement, pensions appear to make the most sense. Meanwhile, for those whose income may be greater in retirement, the opposite appears true.

The reality, however, can be less clear-cut. Tax rebates on pension contributions are important as they add value up-front, and investors welcome the effect of compounding on their portfolios, which helps to influence the size of pension ‘pot’ that can be accumulated. Equally, if you eventually decide to buy a pension annuity – and pension rules have changed to allow greater flexibility for savers – those payments can be guaranteed for life, whereas withdrawing the equivalent sum from an ISA is rather less predictable.

Pensions offer additional attractions: employers can contribute to a company or stakeholder pension scheme, and annual contribution limits for pensions are much higher than for ISAs. Nevertheless, an ISA offers flexibility: you usually have to wait until you are 55 to make withdrawals from a pension, whereas an ISA can typically be accessed at any time. Ultimately, it is not necessarily a question of whether an ISA or pension is better; rather, it is a question of planning your finances to make the most of both.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Marie Curie Easter Cake Bake

On Wednesday 12 April 2017 we held a Cake Bake in aid of our sponsored charity, Marie Curie, at our offices in Weybridge.

The theme this time was “The Big Easter Bake”.  Savoury and sweet entries were encouraged and there were an impressive array of entries, many with Easter themes – a lot of little chicks and a show-stopper, multi-layered (no pun intended!) egg-shaped cake.  All the entries were judged using strict criteria and the winner received a large Easter Egg prize!

We would like to say a massive Thank You to all the Ward Williams employees who made such an effort and baked that wonderful array of Easter treats.  They really excelled themselves and we are so grateful for all the energy, time and resources that they put into their creations.

We also held a raffle for an impressive looking Easter Egg that had kindly been donated to raise further funds.

The day was enjoyed by bakers and tasters alike and we managed to raise £243.55 that we have donated to Marie Curie.