Opinions from our experts

31 May 2022

Will Self: 21 years in the world of SIPPs

Will Self: "It’s impossible to talk about changes in the SIPP market without talking about how decumulation options have changed. The environment has completely transformed from the days when most people bought annuities, and even drawdown came with fixed income limits."

31 May 2022

In some regions of the UK, the gap between the value of pensions of men and women is almost 50%

An informational animation created by Dunstan Thomas, featuring the state of the UK pensions & investments climate. In some regions of the UK, the gap between the value of pensions of men and women is almost 50%

26 May 2022

The UK State Pension is one of the worst in the developed world

An informational animation created by Dunstan Thomas, featuring the state of the UK pensions & investments climate.

24 May 2022

Jessica List: Painting pensions by numbers

HMRC recently released a range of statistics relating to personal and stakeholder pensions. Below Jessica List summarises the highlights and what they may mean for advisers' clients...

16 May 2022

Increased risk of much needed skills exodus if HR does not act to retain older workers

38% of Baby Boomers want to continue working into their 70s but HR departments are still pushing too many out in their early 60s.

13 May 2022

Jessica List: Pass the (property) parcel

There is a surprising amount of flexibility when it comes to succession planning with commercial property investments, making it an important part of the journey to consider for both clients and their beneficiaries. Jessica List explores commercial property in her latest PA article, in which she discusses two ways of passing on a commercial property pension investment...

11 May 2022

Pension LTA not always 'hard stop' limit

Tax Year 2021/22 is set to be a record year - the highest ever recorded for investing in Venture Capital Trusts (VCT). Total capital raised for investing in shares or securities, including loans of at least five years duration, in unquoted companies and those whose shares are traded on AIM is on target to reach £900m before the end of the current tax year.

06 May 2022

How ‘potting’ beats a stock market crisis

The major benefit of potting is by setting aside perhaps 20% of your portfolio in cash you can avoid selling down assets during periods when there is a lack of knowledge-based pricing and wait for a ‘new normal’ to appear.

22 Apr 2022

Inherit and exit is advisers’ next gen risk

Intergenerational fairness isn’t meant to pit generations against each other but draw attention to how economic or societal developments affect generations differently. It’s also the perfect opportunity to talk with clients about involving their families in their succession planning.

21 Apr 2022

The data economy conundrum

It's a complex world. On one hand, I worry about who has access to my personal data and how they are using it. On the other, I get incredibly frustrated when I can't immediately resolve the latest annoying failure of my ageing memory (normally music trivia).

12 April 2022

2.1 million pensioners are living in poverty after housing costs

An informational animation created by Dunstan Thomas, featuring the state of the UK pensions & investments climate. 2.1 million pensioners are living in poverty after housing costs

7 Apr 2022

Calls for digital pension comms grow amid lack of member engagement

Two-fifths (40 per cent) of Baby Boomers aged 58 and over with defined contribution (DC) pensions do not remember receiving a wake up pack, while a further 30 per cent believe they never received a wake-up pack, according to research from Dunstan Thomas.

30 Mar 2022

State pension age: Britons fall below ‘comfortable’ living - will you have to work longer?

Traditionally, state pension age was 60 for women and 65 for men, but it then underwent a process of equalisation. Now, both sexes are entitled to retire at the same age - but whether people choose to or not is a different matter entirely.

29 Mar 2022

Over a third of baby boomers set to retire later than SPA

According to the Dunstan Thomas’ nationwide study, the average length of time that this group plans to work beyond their 66th birthday is 4.3 years when they will be over 70 years old. The current average retirement age of this generation is rising steadily and now stands at 63.4 years, the study found.

25 Mar 2022

More Boomers working beyond state pension age

Nearly 40% of Baby Boomers are likely to work beyond state pension age according to research from Dunstan Thomas. In fact, 38% of Boomers aged 58 to 75 are set to retire later than the current state pension age of 66. The average length of time that this group plan to work on beyond their 66th birthday is 4.3 years. It means they look to retire beyond the age of 70.

23 Mar 2022

A quarter of Baby Boomers will consult a regulated financial adviser before retiring

A quarter (25 per cent) of Baby Boomers plan to or have already used regulated financial advice to gain more knowledge about pensions before they fully retire. A further 15 per cent plan to use, or have already used, guidance services from the likes of Citizens Advice Bureau, MoneyHelper and Pension Wise services.

23 Mar 2022

Chancellor has left it too late to raid Pensions Tax-Free Cash on Budget Day

There is some speculation that on Spring Budget Day on Wednesday 23rd March, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce plans to phase out or even scrap tax-free cash as he searches for ways to recoup HM Treasury losses incurred during the pandemic and pay for anticipated new costs associated with placing stringent economic sanctions on Russia as it continues to prosecute its war on Ukraine.

22 Mar 2022

Burgeoning demand from Boomers for regulated advice

Research by technology solutions provider Dunstan Thomas finds there is a burgeoning demand for financial advice among unretired Baby Boomers. Over a third of them have not yet calculated how much retirement income they will be able to take from accessing all their pension and investment savings at retirement. That represents 49% of all the people between 58 and 75 years old in the UK.

15 Mar 2022

Warning pension tax free cash lingering in bank accounts

Research from Dunstan Thomas showed 43 per cent of Britain’s baby boomers, those aged between 58 and 75, have accessed their 25 per cent tax free cash at least in part. Of those, a quarter (24 per cent) had put the cash straight into their bank account, where it is being threatened by rising inflation.

15 Mar 2022

Almost a quarter of Baby Boomers have fully withdrawn their tax-free pension lump sum

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of people aged between 58 and 75 have already taken out all of their tax-free pension lump sum, a survey by Dunstan Thomas has found. According to the research, a further 19 per cent had taken out some of their 25 per cent tax-free pension allowance, meaning that 43 per cent of Baby Boomers had accessed their tax-free allowance. Of those who had taken some or all of their pension tax-free cash, 24 per cent had put the cash straight into the bank.

15 Mar 2022

Dunstan Thomas has conducted research on how the UK’s Baby Boomers aged 58 to 75 have used their tax-free cash

43%: Of Baby Boomers have already taken their tax-free cash. 13% Used it to pay down unsecured debt including credit card debts. 10% Used it to pay for home improvements

11 Mar 2022

What can we learn from CDCs’ focus on communications?

One of the reasons why those incredibly thirsty Formula One racing cars still attract a huge following is the transferable technology benefits to road cars. Despite only managing around six miles per gallon around the track, top name sponsors still queue up to be involved with them because they have so much to offer that could reduce wear and tear for us regular car users down the road.

09 Mar 2022

Decumulation pathways in the digital age

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched investment pathways last year, to help non-advised customers as they approach the transition from accumulation to decumulation.The theory was to increase engagement in the range of options open to policyholders in the wake of pension freedoms and at the same time address growing numbers who had taken their tax-free cash and left the other three-quarters of the pot held in cash.

01 Mar 2022

Jessica List: Which LTA protections are still available?

Lifetime allowance (LTA) protection is still one of the most popular topics we receive technical queries about at Curtis Banks. It's easy to understand why: with eight different forms available (counting all the enhancement factors as a single type), all with different rules and requirements, it's not easy remembering exactly how each works.

08 Feb 2022

Jessica List: Potential Problems with PCLS Decoupling

This recommendation was one of several made in the Work and Pensions Committee’s recent report into the risks that have arisen from pension freedoms. I’m not sure how decoupling on its own would help savers achieve better outcomes.

01 Feb 2022

Adrian Boulding: ESG retirement investing from a client perspective

Adrian Boulding looks at ESG investing in the pensions space and shares how clients can invest to save the planet while protecting their retirement income. The growing awareness of the climate emergency and a greater focus on creating a fairer, more inclusive, and equitable society accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic has led to widespread governmental and regulatory changes.

16 Dec 2021

Jessica List: Five things advisers should remember about carry forward

A new client's pension contribution history can be patchy, writes Jessica List, who outlines five easily forgotten points about carry forward rules for advisers. When looking into a new client's pension savings, you might discover that their contribution history is patchy at best.

03 Nov 2021

Adrian Boulding: Do CDCs offer the best of both?

Understanding the advantages collective defined contribution pension schemes can offer clients
The DWP recently launched its consultation on draft collective defined contribution pensions scheme regulations, which is due to close on 31 August. Once these regulations are firmed up, by the end of this year in all probability, single or connected employers will be able to open collective defined contribution schemes for their employees.

14 Oct 2021

Jessica List: Using DC pensions to transfer wealth

For many people, defined contribution pensions are now a significant consideration when it comes to intergenerational planning. We often hear from advisers that, where clients have other potential sources of retirement income, they will try to leave a DC pension intact due to the death benefits planning opportunities.

7 Oct 2021

Chris Read: Onwards and upwards

It’s a busy time indeed for headhunters and recruitment agents alike. Demand is outstripping the supply of talent, and I’m not just talking about the scarcity of HGV drivers now. As the hybrid workplace takes hold, there is an increasing strain on HR departments to develop new working policies, while simultaneously responding to rapid salary inflation.

6 Oct 2021

Jessica List: RP case studies- Ill-health early retirement

Jessica List looks at an ill-health retirement case study where a SIPP comes in handy... Julia is 51. She has suffered from osteoarthritis since her early 40s, which has gradually been making it harder for her to continue running her boutique clothing store. Julia has been maximising her pension contributions to her SIPP over the last few years, intending to retire at 55 when she reaches the current normal minimum pension age.

4 Oct 2021

Presenting a balanced view of pensions consolidation

Consolidation – there’s a lot of it about at the moment. I attended a speech by pensions minister Guy Opperman (yes, a real one in the flesh) in which he lauded his forthcoming legislation that will use the cloak of value for money to force sub-£100m occupational pension schemes to consolidate. And who can argue with improved member outcomes?

21 Sep 2021

Working 9-5?

In one of my recent lockdown thought pieces which Retirement Planner kindly gives space to each month, I alluded to the perils of failing to prepare for long-term care (LTC) provision. I mentioned the heartache that this is causing families up and down the land as the children of more and more parents face the prospect of finding the considerable amounts to pay for it.

14 Sep 2021

Building long-term care provision into centralised retirement propositions

In one of my recent lockdown thought pieces which Retirement Planner kindly gives space to each month, I alluded to the perils of failing to prepare for long-term care (LTC) provision. I mentioned the heartache that this is causing families up and down the land as the children of more and more parents face the prospect of finding the considerable amounts to pay for it.

26 Aug 2021

Do CDCs offer the best of both?

The DWP recently launched its consultation on draft collective defined contribution pensions scheme regulations, which is due to close on 31 August. Once these regulations are firmed up, by the end of this year in all probability, single or connected employers will be able to open collective defined contribution schemes for their employees.

25 Aug 2021

We are all revolutionaries now

We are all revolutionaries now. We are participants and actors in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). This revolution is a global event, and its intensity is picking up as time goes on. The 4IR as a term was first coined by Klaus Schwab the founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

23 Aug 2021

Will Self: What is a SIPP and how can it benefit you?

Curtis Banks Group CEO Will Self explores the fundamentals of what a SIPP is and tackles the most commonly asked SIPP questions in the East Anglian Daily Times. Read the full article here.

02 Aug 2021

Paying it forward

Much has been written on intergenerational transfer of wealth. It is a key focus for financial advice and consequently a key opportunity for present and future value across the industry. The Resolution Foundation in 2017 wrote extensively on the intergenerational contract: the principle that different generations provide support to each other across the different stages of their lives.

26 Jul 2021

Clients facing crippling care costs? Here's a four-step safety net

We’re getting older and sicker. While the government twiddles its thumbs on the solution, there is plenty you can do to set clients up for a good care outcome.

16 Jul 2021

Turning the personal data tables'

Andrew Martin looks at the personal data economy, asks if consumers have enough protection and explores the implications for advice and wealth management.

15 Jul 2021

Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think

Prince Buster was a Jamaican Ska singer-songwriter. If you like Madness or the Specials, you’ll know where their influences came from. In any event, as the summer staycation rain fell last weekend, I popped into my local independent record store and spent an hour or so flipping through the records. I came across a Prince Buster album with a great album cover and just had to buy it.

06 Jul 2021

Jessica List: Stronger nudges 'no substitute for advice'

The regulator’s plan to introduce a stronger nudge to pension guidance could lead to more people seeking advice, industry experts have claimed. Pensions commentators have dismissed concerns that a push towards guidance could undermine advisers, saying the advice process can provide much better support for clients.

01 Jul 2021

Why it’s time to focus on sustainability, compassion and awareness

You may recall back in the early spring the national media were crowing about the speed and effectiveness of the UK vaccination programme. Some were keen to compare it against the sluggish start by the EU. It was as if the UK vaccination roll-out here was somehow a vindication of Brexit.

18 Jun 2021

When it’s time to trade a SIPP in for a SSAS

Small self-administered schemes (SSAS) had been around for 17 years before its younger brother self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) got here in 1990, offering many of the investment freedoms SSAS members had been enjoying but without the need for a sponsoring employer.

10 Jun 2021

Deep thinking required on client vulnerability

It's nearly two years since the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its seminal‘Guidance Consultation 19-03' on the treatment of vulnerable customers and three months since the regulator concluded its final guidance entitled: ‘FG21/1 Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers'...

10 Jun 2021

Integrating LTC into pension planning and provision

My mother is 92 and requires full-time care. Like many of her generation, as we pass the D-Day anniversary she vividly recalls her days as teenager in the war, in her case, in Malta. She could differentiate a German bomber from an Italian bomber no less, by the tone of its engines as they flew overhead to bomb the harbours around Valletta.

1 Jun 2021

Fully ‘vaxxed’ and making plans

This evening I had my second jab, the AZ flavour. I hope I’ll be okay tomorrow. Last time around, after the first jab I had a bout of shivers and sweats the following day. As of today, over 60 million vaccinations have been administered in the UK, with over 22.6 million people having received two jabs.

18 May 2021

Jessica List: Five top tips for land purchases

It’s well known that when it comes to commercial property investments, pensions can only purchase the bricks and mortar: anything moveable such as fixtures and fittings aren’t allowed. But what about cases where there isn’t even a building?

17 May 2021

Can machine learning give IFA clients an ESG investment selection edge?

It’s well known that when it comes to commercial property investments, pensions can only purchase the bricks and mortar: anything moveable such as fixtures and fittings aren’t allowed. But what about cases where there isn’t even a building?

13 May 2021

Come fly with me

The middle of May is fast approaching and there’s a great deal of expectancy associated with further easing of lockdown flowing through the country. I write this article in flight. Above the deep blue Mediterranean, tufts of distant clouds seem to anticipate my arrival in Malta – the land of my birth.

29 Apr 2021

To Zoom or not to Zoom, that is the question

28 Apr 2021

Five benefit statement pointers and one to avoid

20 Apr 2021

The spectre of negative interest rates

15 Apr 2021

What will pensions look like 99 years from now?

6 Apr 2021

Transforming retirement planning with big data and AI

25 Mar 2021

Jessica List: Pensions At Age 75 - The Big Event

25 Mar 2021

Lockdown lessons as offices open up

12 Mar 2021

Advisers must prepare for negative interest rates

11 Mar 2021

Business lessons from Aesop’s Fables

5 Mar 2021

Exploring the power of AI to provide more accurate ESG ratings

4 Mar 2021

Tech is real hero in pension charge disclosure story

25 Feb 2021

Applying the Stockdale Paradox to lockdown life

16 Feb 2021

Jessica List: Key SIPP Developments

11 Feb 2021

Chris Read: The Covid-19 Divine Comedy

28 Jan 2021

Chris Read: As one door closes another one opens

28 Jan 2021

Adrian Boulding: Helping Gen X clients boost 'bleak' pension prospects

20 Jan 2021

Will Self: 2021 Outlook for SIPPs

14 Jan 2021

Chris Read: The ‘Great Reset’ requires positive thinking

14 Jan 2021

Adrian Boulding: Go against the pack and consider an annuity

12 Jan 2021

Jessica List: What’s in store for 2021?

17 Dec 2020

Chris Read: Points mean prizes when it comes to health IDs

16 Dec 2020

Andrew Martin: Growing your business with 'chatbot wizardry''

9 Dec 2020

Adrian Boulding: First steps along the 'investment pathway'

8 Dec 2020

Adrian Boulding: Making the most of pension contributions

1 Dec 2020

Chris Read: Be prepared for inevitable business change

30 Nov 2020

Dunstan Thomas Gen X research cited in ILC UK Report

24 Nov 2020

Finding optimism by embracing the unknown

24 Nov 2020

Adrian Boulding: SSAS advantages in 10 key points

12 Nov 2020

Adrian Boulding: SSAS market ripe for service upgrade

5 Nov 2020

A Letter from Uganda

22 Oct 2020

Reaching out to Generation Zoom via snail mail

22 Oct 2020

What advisers need to know about the impact of BTL rule changes

15 Oct 2020

Have you had the ESG chat with clients?

12 Oct 2020

Don’t miss out on ESG opportunities

8 Oct 2020

Lockdown lessons from astronauts

2 Oct 2020

Wealth managers 'to accelerate digital transformation'

30 Sep 2020

Covid sell-off forces DFMs to address tech shortcomings

30 Sep 2020

Covid-19 'accelerates' wealth management digital transformation

29 Sep 2020

Covid-19 will accelerate shift to fixed fee models

29 Sep 2020

Post-pandemic workplaces must stimulate creativity as well as safe collaboration

15 Sep 2020

Bringing life back to the office

3 Sep 2020

London work trip concentrates the mind on workplace change

2 Sep 2020

Managing decumulation journeys through Covid-19 market uncertainties