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Technical articles

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.
Dividend v salary v pension revisited »
Considering the options and tax consequences for funds derived from profits is only really relevant in relation to owner/managers of private limited companies.  Profits derived by the self-employed are assessed to tax on the sole trader no matter how those profits are spent.  The same is true for partners and members of a LLP - they are taxed on their share of profits whether it is drawn or not.
Technology providers to continue evolution in mortgage advice »
The recent announcement that Equifax have teamed up with Castlight in order to provide a real-time affordability platform, provides further evidence that technology providers will not rest on their laurels in their bid to provide advisers with the best possible tools to do their jobs.
Conveyancers must think digitally to succeed in 2017 »
These are unpredictable times for the property market with forecasts changing from joyfully optimistic to the polar opposite within what feels like the blink of an eye, but there is one thing I am sure of - the future of conveyancing is online.
2017 Spring Budget - The pension changes »
Following on from our previous article looking at the non-pensions Budget changes, this article looks at the main pensions changes, as announced.
2017 Spring Budget - The main non-pensions changes »
This year's March Budget was the last Spring Budget, as Mr Hammond has said that from now on Budgets will be presented in Autumn, with the Spring reserved for a financial statement. Thus in 2017 we will have two Budgets, with the second probably arriving in November.
Trust disputes - interesting decisions from 2016 »
This month we continue to look at some interesting Court decisions from last year in the area of trust law. Last month we considered one case concerning trustees' duties when investing trust funds, and another one dealing with the more fundamental question of whether a trust in fact existed or not. Another area that is frequently the subject of a dispute in this area is the beneficiaries' right to receive information from the trustees about the trust fund and there has been a recent decision on this so we start with it. We then look at yet another decision involving a settlor's mistake as to the consequences of a transfer of an asset to a trust.
The penny drops »
Inflation is on the rise. The latest numbers published by the Office for National Statistics show prices increased to 1.8% in January, up from 1.6% in December. Just seven months ago in June, price rises were only coming in at an average of 0.5%.
Increasing complexity demands greater specialism »
The Society of Mortgage Professionals' 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.

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