The Atticus Papers

Bringing clarity to finance

Tuesday 6th July, 2021

How much can I contribute to my pension? - A guide to funding your pension (UK)

How much can you contribute to your pension each year? This is a crucial question, as knowing the answer will put you in a strong position to build your pension pot and take advantage of the fantastic tax reliefs on offer. However, there are also many pitfalls and if you contribute too much to your pension, this can result in an unforeseen Annual Allowance tax charge. It is therefore very important that you have a broad understanding of the rules relating to pension contributions and what your options are. The article below will explain the pension Annual Allowance, pension carry forward principles, The Tapered Annual Allowance for high earners, the Money Purchase Annual Allowance and the impact of exceeding your annual pension allowance. It will also cover how contributions are made and tax relief provided.

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Monday 5th July, 2021

Pensions and divorce - how are pensions treated when a marriage breaks up?

"Do pensions form part of the marital assets?" This is a question I am frequently asked by clients who are unfortunately getting divorced. It is a really important question, as pensions are often the most valuable asset that has been built up during the course of a marriage, quite frequently worth more than the couple's house. Unfortunately, these are assets that are also frequently ignored in divorce discussions and the final financial settlement, leaving at least one of the parties in an unenviable position when it comes to funding their retirement in the future. In the article below, I will discuss which pension benefits may be taken into consideration when getting divorced, how they are valued and the options available when dividing the benefits between the two parties.

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Monday 28th June, 2021

Should I stop paying into my pension if it exceeds the Lifetime Allowance?

"Should I keep paying into my pension if it reaches the Lifetime Allowance" This is a question I am frequently asked by clients who are approaching (or have exceeded) the pension Lifetime Allowance threshold and are concerned that they may trigger a 55% tax charge on their pension. This is a very valid concern, but for many people, the implications of exceeding the Pension Lifetime Allowance are not as horrendous as they may think and there may be far more benefit in continuing to fund their pension. In the article below I will discuss the various options available when the Lifetime Allowance is exceeded. I will also highlight through calculations and examples, circumstances in which it is potentially better to continue funding your pension.

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Friday 25th June, 2021

What happens to my pension when I die? - a guide to pension death benefits (UK)

This video explains what happens to your pension benefits when you die. It highlights who you can leave your pension to, how the pension death benefits are distributed by the pension trustees and how things have changed since pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015. It also explains the tax treatment of the pension death benefits based on whether you die before age 75 or after age 75. Lastly, it highlights how tax beneficial it can be to leave your pension to beneficiaries, while using non-pension assets to fund your retirement.

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Friday 18th June, 2021

Six ways to boost your pension

"How can I increase my pension in the run up to retirement?" This is a question that many of us ask, as retirement looms, quite often no more than three or four years away. This is because our pensions, despite their crucial role in funding potentially a third of our life's expenditure requirements, are often our most neglected assets. They simply sit forgotten in the background, unattended for thirty or forty years, until we suddenly become acutely aware of their importance and how insufficient our provision up to this point has been. Now, there are no quick fixes. Building a pension pot sufficient to provide for your retirement is a long term activity, and you cannot make up for a 30 years of underfunding in 3 years or less. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your position. In the guide below, I explain six of these options that can help to increase your pension pot and retirement income, and ensure that your pension is best positioned to meet your needs.

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