Most industry experts and commentators anticipate a year full of opportunity for investors even if sterling strength reduces Brits’ global returns a touch.
As HMRC will no-longer be able to pass on the cost of card handling fees, payment of tax bills by personal credit card will no-longer be permitted. The ban came into force 13th January, though debit cards and corporate credit cards are still allowed.
The British Steel Pension Scheme is closing and members have been asked to choose between either moving their rights into the government’s Pension Protection Fund or transferring into a new British Steel scheme. However, many members have been advised to consider a third alternative, namely requesting a valuation of their rights with a view to transferring into a personal scheme.
Care home chains are in trouble. Demand for places is increasing with longevity and the rising number of cases of dementia, but funding is predominantly dependent on Local Authorities, whose own stretched resources are limiting their ability to pay and leading to their demanding places at below their cost price.
The previous Chancellor, George Osborne, reduced the annual and lifetime allowances for pension savings and at the same time increased the allowance for Individual Savings Accounts (‘ISAs’). This led many to assume that he intended that in the long term ISAs should become the principal means of saving for retirement.