Tag Archives: extension

Pension UK: Minimum retirement age extension loophole discovered – how to ‘lock in’ at 55

Minimum retirement age extension loophole discovered

Pension ages differ between private schemes and state pensions, as retirees can only claim the latter from the age of 66. For private plans, it is possible to access funds from the age of 55 but earlier this year, the Government announced plans to increase this to 57 over the coming years.

The responses were wide ranging but they covered a number of areas such as how the overall framework should be considered, analysis of pension scheme rules and how members should be informed of the changes.

The Government went on to break down its planned next steps on the matter: “Raising the NMPA is necessary to reflect long-term demographic changes and reflects the changing expectations of how long people will remain in work and in retirement. The Government intends to publish draft legislation for a protection regime now and to legislate for this rise to 57 in the next Finance Bill.

“As appropriate, HMRC will provide further explanation and examples within its guidance for what is an unqualified right. The Government also acknowledges the importance of establishing a clear position on the transitional arrangements.

“For example, members who do not have a PPA and have reached age 55 but not age 57 by April 6, 2028 and for whom a transitional issue may arise. The Government will provide further advice on the proposed transitional arrangements and provisions in due course

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Canada Life examined the consultation and broke down what the new rules will mean going forward:

  • The normal minimum pension age will increase from 55 to 57 in 2028 (in line with the increase in state pension age to 67).
  • Members of “Uniformed pension schemes” including armed forces, police and fire services, will retain a normal minimum pension age of 55
  • An individual member of a registered pension scheme who on April 5, 2023 has a right to take benefits from an earlier age than 57 and the rules of the scheme on 11 February 2021 (the date of the original consultation) gave a right to take benefits at an earlier age, can retain the right to take benefits at age 55
  • That right to take benefits at an earlier age is retained on a ‘block transfer’ – broadly speaking a block transfer is where two or more people transfer from the same transferring scheme to the same destination scheme at the same time

Andrew Tully, a Technical Director at Canada Life, responded to the findings.

Mr Tully said: “The confirmation of the timing of the increase in the normal minimum pension age will be welcome to individuals and advisers and give time for appropriate planning over the next seven years. However, what should have been a simple process has turned into a hugely complex mess. “The process to decide which individuals retain a right to an earlier pension age is completely arbitrary, being based on the specific wording within scheme rules, which may have been written many years ago.

“It also leaves open the possibility that people will hunt around for a scheme which gives them the right to take benefits at age 55 and transfer to that before 2023. “So expect frantic transfer activity over the next few years as people look to secure age 55 as their minimum pension age, irrespective of their birth date.

“It is also disappointing to see a continuation of the existing ‘block transfer’ rules. These rules are complex and can effectively stop individuals transferring to a more modern, flexible, cheaper contract simply because they want to hang onto this right to take benefits at age 55.

“The legislation as drafted adds further hideous complexity to the pension system, which might be fine for pension geeks like me but for the average pension saver will prove nigh on impossible to navigate successfully without the help of a professional adviser.”

Steve Webb, a partner at LCP and former Minister for Pensions, also examined the consultation and in doing so, uncovered an important potential loophole.

Mr Webb explained those who are already 57 will not be overly affected by the changes but the news will still be important to those who are “roughly” under 50.

Those who fall into this bracket may still be able to “lock in” their retirement ages at 55, as Mr Webb explained: “[HM Treasury] have announced today a potentially important loophole. “If you can find a scheme which had age 55 ‘written into the rules’ when they were published in February 2021, you can join it as long as you do so by April 2023!

“And the money you put in, plus subsequent savings, will all be accessible at age 55 even after 2028.

“For those who care about whether they can access their money at 55 or 57 after 2028 this is important. They should:

  • Find out whether the scheme they are already in has a baked in age of 55 or if it will rise to 57 in 2028;
  • Think about whether it might make sense to save somewhere else, and – subject to other considerations as well, like charges, investment performance, exit fees etc etc – potentially even transfer existing savings into ‘age 55’ schemes.”

Mr Webb concluded by providing guidance on where savers should start to lock in their pension ages: “We have known for some time that the government was planning to raise the standard minimum age for accessing a pension from 55 to 57. But today’s announcements provide a window for people to lock in to age 55 if they wish. Schemes which already have a right to access at 55 written into their rules will have this protected even after the 2028 change, and other savers may be able to join such schemes. As a first step, pension savers should find out where their own scheme stands. If their own scheme’s access age will rise to 57 they may wish to review where they hold their pension savings”.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Max Verstappen and Red Bull battle key factor in Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension

Lewis Hamilton says the battle with Max Verstappen and Red Bull this season helped solidify his plans to stay in Formula One, but the seven-time world champion reiterated he won’t be racing in F1 past 40.

Hamilton signed a new two-year deal with Mercedes to take him to 2024 with the seven-time world champions, and into a new era of Formula One from 2022 with regulation changes.

The deal extends his nine-year stay with the team and means Hamilton is committed to F1 until at least the age of 38, with 2023 set to be his 17th season in the championship.

Mercedes have dominated the championship for seven years, with Hamilton winning six titles alongside the British-based German team, with his former team-mate Nico Rosberg taking the title in 2016.

Yet, now Hamilton and Mercedes are being pushed to their limit in F1, with Verstappen leading the way by 18 points in the driver standings, and Red Bull pulling out a 40 point lead in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

And Hamilton says it’s been a thrilling start to the year.

George Russell bounces back from heartache at the Austrian Grand Prix

“I think we are being challenged more than ever this year, which is great, and I love racing. This is what I want to do,” said Hamilton, quoted by Reuters.

“I had the best and most enjoyable start of the year, enjoyed the roller-coaster ride that we’re having,” he explained.

“The start of this season, when the cars were so close in performance — pretty much equal — then it was really one of the most exciting times I’ve had for some time. To be able to have this battle with Red Bull.

“I was really hoping that it would continue on like that for the rest of the year but they’ve taken a huge leap forwards”

“I found myself just waking up thinking about racing, so I wanted to continue to race,” he said.

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“Now we are having this tight battle it’s brought me closer to the team, closer to the engineers, it’s making me dig deeper and I love that. It has reinvigorated the love that I have for this sport and love for what I do.”

Hamilton has 98 wins and 100 pole positions to his name, and if he wins an eighth world title this season, would overtake Michael Schumacher to become the most successful driver of all time.

His new contract will see him race on until he is 38 — an age he said “doesn’t actually sound that bad”.

However, the Briton has no interest in being in the championship if he’s not competitive.

“There’s going to be a point at which I’m going to want to move on to do different things…I’m not going to do it at 80%, 70% and just trundle along,” he said.

“I’m only here to win. So if there’s ever a point that I feel I don’t want to commit the time or the effort, that will be the time for me to stop. I don’t plan to be here until I’m 40. I hope I have something else exciting to do beyond.”

Author: Claire Cottingham
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Sport

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas respond to Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension

Formula One has been responding to the news that seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will remain in the championship for at least two more years after signing an extension with Mercedes for 2022 and 2023.

It means Hamilton will be just one week short of 39 years old when his new deal ends as the Briton looks to become the most successful driver in F1 history with an eighth world title.

Hamilton, an avid user of social media, posted the announcement on his Instagram, in conjunction with Mercedes, with many taking to the comment section of the site to congratulate him.

His team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who says he has yet to start contract negotiations for 2022 with the team, replied on Instagram to say, “Congratulations, well deserved.”

Meanwhile, George Russell, who is being heavily tipped to replace Bottas at Mercedes and become Hamiton’s team-mate next season, posted, “The GOAT. Great news for Mercedes and for F1. Congrats man!”

Lewis Hamilton signs new two-year Mercedes contract

1996 world champion Damon Hill posted, “The Lewis vs Max era continues,” with his brother Nicolas, who is also a racing driver, writing, “Amazing my bro! So proud of you! More records break and I can’t wait to watch you all the way.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had already assured fans coming into this season they would not be dragging their heels into next season with an update on Hamilton’s future, and explained why they wanted to put pen to paper early.

“As we enter a new era of F1 from 2022 onwards, there can be no better driver to have in our team than Lewis,” said Wolff in a statement.

“His achievements in this sport speak for themselves, and with his experience, speed and racecraft, he is at the peak of his powers.

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Lewis Hamilton signs new two-year Mercedes contract

Author: Claire Cottingham
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Sport

MOT test garages could soon disappear as extension makes it 'hard for firms to survive'

Mr Barbera has started a petition calling for an action plan and financial support for the motor trade.

He has called for a financial package for 2022 and beyond to secure the future of jobs and businesses across the motor trade.

The petition has so far achieved over 1,500 signatures with 10,000 needed for a Government response.

However, Mr Barbera added he was still “skeptical” about any financial package but warned it was needed “for the short term”.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Senate passes extension of popular small-business loan program

The Senate on Thursday passed legislation extending a popular small-business program created by Congress last year during the coronavirus downturn.

Senators voted 92-7 to extend the deadline for applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus, from March 31 to May 31.

Seven Republicans voted against the bill: Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ted Cruz (Texas), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Risch (Idaho) and Richard Shelby (Ala.).

The House passed the measure last week, meaning it now heads to President Biden‘s desk for his expected signature.

In addition to extending the window for applying for the loans, which can be forgiven if borrowers meet certain requirements, the bill also gives the Small Business Administration until June 30 to process the applications.

Business groups have been pushing for Congress to extend the application window, arguing it will provide the financial support needed to keep businesses afloat until the country’s adult population is vaccinated and COVID-19 lockdown measures are lifted.

The program was first created under the bipartisan CARES Act in late March of last year. Congress has passed additional measures to continue funding for the program, including allowing the hardest-hit small businesses to apply for a second loan.

Biden announced policy changes to the PPP in February aimed at targeting assistance to businesses with 20 or fewer employees and minority-owned firms. The administration instituted a 14-day period, which ended on March 9, when only businesses with fewer than 20 employees could apply for the loans.


Are summer holidays banned? Minister refuses to rule out travel ban extension

As summer draws closer so does the holiday season, and with millions of Brits itching to get away after months of lockdown restrictions many are wondering if a holiday abroad will even be possible this year. Even though Britain has celebrated record numbers of people being vaccinated in recent days, there are still fears that less vaccinated populations, including much of Europe currently, could provide a breeding ground for potentially vaccine-resistant strains of the virus.
The UK and Europe’s short-lived respite from COVID-19 in the summer of 2020 meant holidays were able to go ahead, with thousands of Brits jetting off to enjoy the sun.
However, the freedom was only temporary.

Travel restrictions came back in line with the second wave hitting Europe in the autumn.

Even though the UK has vaccinated half of its adult population, summer holidays may still be a distant pipe dream as cases increase on the continent, where vaccination rates are currently relatively low.

The earliest date summer holidays can resume for those in England is May 17, according to the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Scotland and Wales have set the same date, but Northern Ireland has not yet announced a date for international travel.

Ms Nandy added: “We do need to be careful, we do need to be cautious, and frankly I haven’t booked a foreign holiday for this summer and I won’t be doing so because I don’t think we’re there yet.”

A Government taskforce is due to report to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on April 12, advising when international travel will be allowed to resume.

Travel abroad is only allowed for a limited number of reasons, such as education or work.

Petco and Padres agree to stadium naming rights extension through 2027

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif — San Diego-based Petco Health and Wellness Co. Inc. announced Monday it has reached an agreement with the San Diego Padres to extend the naming rights for the Padres’ downtown ballpark through the 2027 Major League Baseball season.

The stadium on Park Boulevard near the San Diego Convention Center has held the same name since it opened in 2004. The new agreement extends the original agreement two years.

Under the new agreement, Petco will continue to be featured prominently throughout the ballpark and signage will feature its new logo.

“As a locally based company, we are proud to have the Petco name on the number one ballpark in America and home of the San Diego Padres,” said Padres CEO Erik Greupner.

Petco also plans to partner with star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and star third baseman Manny Machado to create social and digital content centered around health and wellness for pets.

“The Padres and Petco are both teams with positive momentum, competing at the highest level and with great players putting up great numbers,” said Petco Chairman and CEO Ron Coughlin. “We are excited to continue working closely with the Padres and in partnership with world-class athletes and pet parents like Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. to improve the lives of pets, pet parents and our more than 26,000 partners.”

The Padres expect to have fans at Petco Park for their home opener April 1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Greupner said Friday. The team will soon notify its season-ticket holders with details of their return to Petco Park.