Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Pensions Auto Enrolment reaches a million employers

The Pensions Regulator has announced that the number of employers meeting their workplace pension duties has reached one million and that statistics show that approximately 9.3 million people are saving into a pension.

TPR’s Director of Automatic Enrolment, Darren Ryder, said:

‘I am delighted we have reached this important landmark, which shows how far we have come since the start of automatic enrolment.

By successfully meeting their responsibilities, employers have helped reverse the downward trend in workplace saving so that putting earnings into a pension has now become the norm.

The continued support of the pensions industry, including pension and payroll providers and business advisers has been crucial to the success of automatic enrolment. The industry has helped us ensure employers have the tools, information and services they need to comply with the law.

We are now focused on the challenges ahead so that employers continue to understand what they need to do so that staff receive the pensions they are entitled to.’

Minimum pension contributions are set to increase from 6 April 2018 and again in 2019.

Employer minimum
Total minimum contribution
Employer's staging date to 5 April 2018

6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019

6 April 2019 onwards


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

Photo credit: Dylan Gillis

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

“Do-it-yourself” Wills

Families who are incorrectly filling in homemade Wills could be disinheriting their children.

So-called ‘Do-It-Yourself’ kits have grown in popularity over recent years, namely because of the reduced cost. Tempted by the price of just £20 in some cases, an increasing number of people are choosing to consolidate their final wishes using a DIY kit, or are at least attempting to.

A number of legal professionals have documented a rise in the number of clients who could be disinheriting their desired beneficiaries, mostly because they are asking them to be a witness to the signing of the Will. As a result, they are then ruled out of obtaining anything from the associated Estate.

Of course, where homemade will kits are concerned, this is not the only problem that could arise. Wills are complex documents with intricate legal language and in most cases, it is important to obtain expert help.

Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd believe that it is essential to use a professional in this complex area of Financial Planning.  For more information, please contact us on 01932 830664 or by email on

Monday, 19 March 2018

HMRC halts thousands of scam text messages

HMRC have announced that they have stopped thousands of taxpayers from receiving scam text messages ‘with 90 percent of the most convincing texts now halted before they reach their phones’.

HMRC’s press release states:

‘Fraudsters alleging to be from HMRC send text messages to unsuspecting members of the public. In these messages they will make false claims, such as suggesting they are due a tax rebate. Messages will usually include links to websites that harvest personal information or spread malware. This can in turn lead to identity fraud and the theft of people’s personal savings.’

HMRC have confirmed that they will never contact taxpayers who are due a tax refund by text message or by email.

HMRC’s Director of Customer Services, Angela MacDonald, said:

‘HMRC is focused on becoming the most digitally advanced tax authority in the world, and a big part of that relates to keeping our customers safe from online scammers.’

‘As email and website scams become less effective, fraudsters are increasingly turning to text messages to con taxpayers. But as these numbers show, we won’t rest until these criminals are out of avenues to exploit.’

‘We have made significant progress is cutting down these types of crime, but one of the most effective ways to tackle it is still to help the public spot the tell-tale signs of fraud.’

To read details of the measures taken by HMRC and other advice on spotting fraud visit the link below.

Internet link: GOV.UK scam-text-messages