Pensions just got more flexible

Pensions just got more flexible

Spring has sprung and this April has brought us not only sunshine, but something even brighter - big changes in pensions!

Fundamental reforms, introduced in the 2014 Budget, come into effect this month. But if you don't have a clue what these changes are, you're not alone. To understand the implications, we need to take a step back and clarify some pension jargon. There are two main structures of pension provision....

The first is known as ‘defined contribution’, or ‘money purchase’ where you, the employer, or both, pay in a set amount each month. The fund grows and you end up with a pot of money at retirement. But the size of this pot isn’t fixed - it depends on how much is put in when, investment returns, charges etc. And the pension income you end up receiving is unknown until you start drawing from this pension pot.

The second structure is a ‘defined benefit scheme’, known as a ‘final salary pension’, which pays out a guaranteed level of pension income based on your income when you retire and the number of years you’ve been working.

Most people today are in a ‘defined contribution’ scheme, and the current reforms are mostly in relation to this. So what’s changed?...

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Life after financial crisis

Life after financial crisis

It’s fantastic to hear about how people’s lives change through working on their relationship with money. An inspiring review on Amazon recently told how reading Sheconomics, combined with some one-to-one financial coaching, transformed one woman’s life. She cleared her debts and is hugely excited about being back in control financially.

But the next stage is even more exciting - doing some financial planning to help clients achieve their big dream. Here’s three steps to get you started…

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Fun money tools designed for kids (but great for adults too!)

Fun money tools designed for kids (but great for adults too!)

While we’re in back to school mode and thinking about financial education how would you like your kids to teach you about the stockmarket?

Or to see them getting enthused by the idea of building wealth when they get older?

Well, thanks to an episode of Radio 4’s Moneybox, I came across this fantastic site where kids can play at trading the stockmarket via a fantasy stock market game . It’s run through an organisation called OINK! – a business newspaper for kids aged 7 to 12 teaching money matters to kids in a fun, off the wall, way.

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