The Atticus Papers

Bringing clarity to finance

Monday 12th September, 2022

Pension death benefits – a guide to what happens to pensions upon death

What happens to my pension when I die? The demise of the final salary pension for the majority of people in the private sector, and the large drive to auto-enrol employees into employment related money purchase pensions, has resulted in a spike in the average value being built up by individuals in their pension pots. For many, the value of their pension built up over a lifetime, may now rival the value of their house. With so much value held in pension pots, many more people are now asking what happens to their pension when they die. I have therefore written an article which first looks at the changes which have occurred in the pension landscape with regards to retirement options and the treatment of pensions upon death, before looking at how the state pension, final salary pensions and money purchase pensions are each treated upon death under the relatively new pension freedoms. This is a complex area and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give Atticus Financial Planning a call.

Read more

Friday 26th August, 2022

Should I keep funding my pension, if the contributions will exceed my pension annual allowance?

The importance of pensions as a tax efficient vehicle for funding retirement cannot be understated. However, more and more people are being caught by provisions brought in by the government that limit the amount individuals can save into their pensions each year. In the past, this may have been dismissed as a problem for the wealthy, that does not affect the average person in the street. While this may have been the case, when these restrictions were first brought in, new changes to how the annual allowance works, means that even people on modest incomes can end up triggering an annual allowance charge. More and more often I am approached by clients of all income levels who have inadvertently creates a tax liability by exceeding their adjusted annual allowance. In the article below I will briefly look at the annual allowance and how it works. I will also cover the main restrictions and their implications, before moving on to look at whether it is worth continuing to fund your pension, despite triggering the annual allowance charge.

Read more

Tuesday 25th January, 2022

Pensions versus ISAs - Which is best?

As we head towards the end of tax year, my clients have started asking me that age old question: Should I fund my pension or ISA? Which is best? In the article below, I will attempt to address this question, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each. As always, the answer to this question can be quite nuanced and will often depend on where you are in your financial lifecycle and what you are trying to achieve. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call at Atticus Financial Planning. We are always happy to help.

Read more

Wednesday 19th January, 2022

End of year tax planning opportunities to look out for

The end of tax year is always a mad rush to try and utilise all our personal tax allowances and reliefs in order to ensure that our investment returns and income are generated as tax efficiently as possible. After all, the government makes a limited number of tax incentives and reliefs available to us and it makes sense to utilise them as much as possible. This article aims to highlight some of the mainstream tax planning opportunities that are available and how to use them. If you would like to discuss how you can make the most of these end of tax year planning opportunities, then please don't hesitate to give us a call.

Read more

Tuesday 3rd August, 2021

What is a pension? - A guide to the pension and retirement options in the UK

I was recently confronted with this question by one of my clients, who explained that in my articles I frequently assume a level of knowledge amongst my readers that simply isn’t there. I was shocked to hear this and quite frustrated with myself. Here I am, happily making articles and videos about the more complex areas of pensions, investments and Inheritance Tax planning, when it had never occurred to me to put together an article explaining the basics of what pensions actually are, what they do and the options they offer. We do have a free pension guide available under the resources section of our website, but this is largely a users guide to defined contribution pensions, with little focus on the other pension options available, like the State Pension and Defined Benefit Pensions. In order to address this oversight, I have put together this article where I will look at the most commonly asked questions I come across relating to pensions. In the article I will look at the following areas: • What is a pension? • The State Pension • Defined Benefit (Final Salary) Pensions • Defined Contribution (Money Purchase) Pensions When looking at the pensions, I will consider: • What they are • Eligibility • How they work • Your retirement options • What happens to the pension when you die?

Read more

If you would like further information, please don’t hesitate to ask us for one of our more complete digital guides to finance.