Pension freedoms; The pros and cons of P2P lending; Tax credits deadline looms
Savers are to receive free independent guidance when given access to their pension pots from next year, the government said earlier this week. The plan changes an aspect of the major liberalisation of defined contribution pensions unveiled in the Budget. The guidance will be through independent organisations, paid for by a levy on regulated financial firms. So what do people coming up to retirement need to bear in mind if they want to access their cash? Michelle Cracknell from TPAS and Sarah Lord from Killik Chartered Financial Planners unpack the detail.
With pension freedom comes personal responsibility to understand your finances. Just how do you release cash from your pension after the age of 55? And what is the best way to minimise charges? What do need to keep in mind?
Peer-to-peer savings firms like Zopa, Funding Circle and Ratesetter say you can potentially earn 6% on your savings. These websites are industrial-scale online financial matchmakers - matching borrowers with savers willing to put money aside for longer. Though peer-to-peer sites are now regulated by the City watchdog, the FCA, its savers do not benefit from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, with the £85,000 guarantee per person. Money Box brings peer-to-peer critic, Bestinvest founder John Spiers together with Funding Circle's Andy Mullinger to debate the pros and cons of P2P.
The Government has confirmed that it is cutting its rate of increase granted on State Pension deferrals, applying to anyone retiring after April 2016. Those who hit their State Pension age before April 2016 will be able to defer their state pension and benefit from an annual increase of 10.4 per cent on the deferred income. For anyone who reaches their state pension age after 2016 their rate will fall to 5.8 per cent. Malcolm Maclean, pensions specialist at the actuarial firm Barnett Waddingham, joins the programme.
There's less than a week left to renew your tax credits - the deadline's on July 31st. Around 3 million people need to get in touch with HMRC, but 800,000 people still haven't done it, despite this being the first year you can renew online. So what's causing the delay? Mark Willis, welfare rights officer at the Child Poverty Action Group, explains what's happening.