Pensions Savings Investments

Venture capital trusts (VCTs)

A Venture Capital Trust (VCT) is an investment company broadly similar to an investment trust. It will be quoted on a regulated market and will have to invest at least 70% of its assets in companies that would qualify under the EIS, and must distribute most of its income by way of dividend. It must be able to demonstrate a spread of investments: none can account for more than 15% of the value of its portfolio. There are other conditions for VCTs.

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State pension deferral

State pension deferral is the right to defer entitlement to the state pension. In return for deferring a lump sum accrues with interest added to the deferred entitlement at a rate normally of 2% over bank base rate. Therefore the deferral claim cannot accurately be evaluated in advance.

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Stakeholder pensions

Stakeholder pension schemes are low-cost pensions meant for people without existing private pension arrangements. They were originally targeted at people who earn more than £10,000 a year and who cannot join an occupational pension scheme. They have, however, turned out to have much broader appeal.

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Pension credit

Details of pension credits for the current year.

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Qualifying for a state pension

The government has changed the age rules for qualification for the state pension. Currently the state pension age is between 60 and 65 for women and 65 for men. The changes mean that retirement age for women will be equalised with that for men at 65 by 2020 and both will increase to 65 to 68 from 2022 and 2046.

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Retirement and pensions

The pension and annuity rules are changing. The need to plan for the future has not.

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Tax on savings income

Savings income (which includes all types of interest) is paid gross without deduction of income tax. The personal savings allowance provides a nil rate of tax on the first £1,000 of savings income for basic rate taxpayers and £500 for higher rate taxpayers, with none available to additional rate taxpayers. If your only taxable income arises from savings income, or your other income is very small the amount liable to 0% tax may be as high as £5,000

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Alternative investments

When it comes to investing, there is more to life than ISAs, stocks and shares. Alternative investments have risen in popularity in recent times, especially among those who have money to invest and do not wish to invest in the stock market or property.

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Financial planning for life

Throughout life, from childhood to retirement, circumstances and priorities change. At every stage it is important to make well-informed decisions to ensure that you and your family are following the best strategies for achieving your goals.

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Building your wealth

Making your savings grow and being able to retire when and how you want is one of your most important financial objectives. But achieving this goal takes planning and perseverance.

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