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Technical articles

Retirement Outcomes Review Interim Report »
The Retirement Outcomes Review Interim Report published by the FCA runs into 122 pages and invites responses to numerous questions raised throughout. The deadline for these responses is the 15 September 2017 with the full report due out in the first half of 2018. The interim report looks into how the retirement income market is evolving after the introductions of the pension freedoms.
Great Expectations...? »
"Boys is wery obstinit,and wery lazy, gen'lmen, and there's nothink like a good hot blaze to make 'em come down vith a run. It's humane too, gen'lmen, acause, even if they've stuck in the chimbley, roasting feet makes 'em struggle to hextricate theirselves".
The consequences of the death of the settlor »
Financial advisers, whether or not they have been involved in the setting up of an earlier trust, are frequently called upon to assist with financial matters after a client or a relative of a client has died.  Frequently there are questions with regard to the administration of a trust that the deceased had set up during lifetime or there may be questions in relation to a trust that has been created under the deceased's will. Judging from our experience at Technical Connection particular problems often arise in connection with loan trusts and other inheritance tax (IHT) mitigation schemes.  This month we will consider the consequences of the death of a settlor under the different trust arrangements.
Dividend v salary v pension revisited »
In this third and concluding article in the series we look at more examples in the dividend v salary debate and then two final examples, involving a lump sum, which includes a pension.
The impact of the extended GAD tables »
From the date  that the changes to the capped drawdown GAD tables where announced in January it was unclear at what point they would need to be used from which caused a lot of confusion. A few days after the announcement that rates were to change, it was announced that these should be used from the 6th April. This raised even more questions given the GAD rates change on the 1st of the month so could cause some unfairness.
Using trusts to gift property »
According to the latest estimates, HMRC's inheritance tax receipts are to be about £4,637m for 2015-16, which is an increase of 22% from 2014-15. Since 2009-10 IHT receipts have increased year on year on average by 12% each year. Some of it is due to the nil rate band being frozen at £325,000 since April 2009 but the main reason is rising asset values. Unsurprisingly perhaps at Technical Connection we receive an increasing number of questions about planning for effective reduction of estates through gifts. This goes hand in hand with the desire of many parents to help their children on the property ladder.
Are you thinking about all of the risks? »
One of the first discussions many planners have with new clients will be one that focuses on their views about risk. In many cases, this discussion is based on investment risk i.e. a risk versus return discussion in which you, as a planner, look to understand what tolerance your client has for the amount by which their portfolio value can vary over time.
Diversity is key for the new build market »
Prior to Legal & General New Build Club launching into the market three years ago, the industry was dominated by just two lenders. 
Meeting the needs of an ageing population »
With ONS figures predicting that one in three babies born in 2013 will reach their 100th birthday, considerations around how the mortgage industry and its regulators should evolve to meet the needs of an ageing population will remain a long-term policy priority.
Mortgage safety net benefit becomes a loan and charge... »
Welfare safety net provision in the form of “Support for Mortgage Interest “ (SMI) assistance has been available within our benefit system to support owner occupier claimants’ mortgage interest payments since 1948.
Changing face of pension planning »
Since the pension freedoms there has been a great deal of discussion about consumers cashing in their pensions as soon as possible after age 55 and living on the bread line through retirement. This may well be the case for those with smaller pots, but those that have saved significant amounts both in and outside their pensions will be looking at their pension pots in different ways such as an IHT vehicle. This will clearly mean that the conversations held with advisers will be changing. It won't necessarily be about how and when they access their funds, but more about what other assets to rely on to preserve their pension benefits for future generations. This will mean advising clients for longer on their pensions as it may no longer be secured by way of an annuity at some point before death. In addition, moving pensions from secure income in a defined benefit schemes are appealing to those wanting to preserve funds beyond their death.
Dividend v salary v pension revisited »
In this second article we examine, with examples, a few typical situations that put some numbers behind the general consideration of the relative position of dividends or salary as the most effective means of withdrawing money from a company for shareholding directors.  But before doing so we would point out that since the first article was written, the Finance (No2) Bill 2017 received Royal Assent.  One of the clauses in the Bill that was omitted from the Act was the one to reduce the dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 with effect from tax year 2018/19.  We must wait until after the June General Election to see whether the new government will legislate for the reduction.
Are pilot trusts dead and buried? »
It has been suggested that, following the introduction of the rules on same-day additions to existing settlements in the Finance Act 2015, there is no longer room for pilot trusts in estate planning. Is this really the case? Is IHT planning using the Rysaffe principle still viable?
Mortgage qualifications a must for advisers »
The Society's recent survey found 61% of members supported a standalone lifetime mortgage qualification for pensions and investment advisers so they could sell such products without having full mortgage qualifications.
Tax efficient savings »
Many times we hear "my property is my pension" where people are talking about their home or buy to let portfolio but by combining property and pensions more tax efficiency could be achieved.