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Personal Finance Society
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Technical articles

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.
Getting to grips with the new buy to let affordability checks »
The new Prudential Regulation Authority regime regarding Interest Cover Ratios (ICR) and stress tests are a mathematical consequence of the income tax relief changes announced by George Osborne back in July 2015.
Defined benefit green paper »
The long awaited Green paper issued by the Department for Work and Pensions is a significant document in both number of pages and the depth of the content. It followed an informal consultation in 2016 which was undertaken with a range of stakeholders, from which no consensus was reached on whether or how to adjust the current balance between protecting members and supporting employers.
Trust disputes - interesting decisions from 2016 »
Court decisions are very useful in reinforcing knowledge and understanding, especially in the area of trust law. Recently we have looked at some cases involving trustee mistakes and rectification. As it happens, in 2016 there were quite a few very interesting trust cases which deserve proper consideration. This month we will look at two of these - the first concerning trustees' duties when investing trust funds, and the second dealing with the more fundamental question of whether a trust in fact existed or not.
Rectification of trust mistakes »
It is a well-known fact that once a trust deed has been executed it cannot simply be amended subsequently. Certainly, changes will not be allowed simply because the settlor changes his mind. However, where it is clear that a mistake has been made and there is evidence to support this, there are two possible remedies: a remedy of rectification and a remedy of rescission (setting aside). Both need an application to the Court and, being "equitable remedies", are at the Court's discretion, which depends to a large extent on the conduct of the applicant.
The inexorable rise in demand for bridging loans »
The bridging industry has gained both ground and reputation in the past few years. The credit crunch, while creating problems for the lending industry as a whole, saw lenders in the bridging industry rise to fill the gap left by the mainstream lenders.
Ongoing lifetime allowance enhancements and reductions »
The lifetime allowance is one of many aspects of pension legislation that is getting ever more complex as we get further away from A-day in 2006. We are nearly 11 years on and it has gone up from £1.5 million to £1.8 million and now we are having to cope with a standard lifetime allowance of just £1 million. With this new reduction it is ever more important to understand any enhancement or reductions that can apply to this headline number.
Will planning - some practical considerations - Part II »
This month we continue to look at practical considerations surrounding making a will. In particular, we will look at the role of executors and trustees and at specific issues arising in connection with business assets and digital assets. We will also consider the pros and cons of avoiding probate by transferring assets to a trust during lifetime.
Reducing income tax and capital gains tax with the help of pension contributions »
Most taxpayers, especially higher rate/additional rate taxpayers, would be happy to hear about the possibility of saving income tax and/or capital gains tax whilst at the same time benefiting from tax relief.  The key to this is the payment of contributions to a registered pension plan linked to the personal tax situation of the individual taxpayer.
Will planning - some practical considerations »
We have looked at the tax considerations in will planning a number of times over the last couple of years and whilst these are, of course, of fundamental importance, many problems arise - judging from the types of question we are often asked as well as the types of case that end up in Court - from not enough attention being paid to practical issues. So over the next two months we will look at some of these issues.
Pension contributions and estate planning »
Different government, different agenda. The march towards simplification has now been halted in its tracks and replaced by objectives of 'fairness' and anti-avoidance. As such, it is timely to consider strategies which may now come under attack.

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