More than five years since pension freedom arrived a solution to take the pain out of investing in retirement is being lined up. Before pension freedom many savers were locked into buying an annuity with their personal pensions or defined contribution work schemes – and a lot of them felt they were getting a raw deal. That’s meant that keeping a pension invested and drawing on it as you choose in retirement has proved a very popular option. It is also a very tricky one to navigate – but now some simple help is at hand, so will it crack the conundrum of pension freedom without the pain? Tumbling annuity rates, an industry that failed to make sure people shopped around and the gamble on life expectancy that meant if you died early then you and your family would lose out, made annuities hugely unpopular. So, Chancellor George Osborne came up with a big bang approach that meant nobody had to if they didn’t want to anymore. The problem is that many people had simply opted for a ‘pay money into my pension while working and not think about it’ approach and so had no real idea how to invest for retirement. Now the industry has come up with a solution that involves savers being offered four ready-made investment deals when they first dip into their pension pots, if they do so without financial advice. On this week’s podcast George Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert, discuss whether this is the answer that savers need. They also look at the tsunami of pension and investment scams, what people can do to protect themselves and ask whether it’s the FCA or Google and the social media companies that should be doing more to crack down on it. Simon outlines his theory on why just as we are about to be able to get out and enjoy ourselves again, some big ticket inflation might hit. And the team look at another Santander 123 account rate cut – is it time for customers to finally give up, or is it a deal still worth having?
A This is Money investigation has revealed a string of women who have been underpaid their state pension, but are they just the tip of an iceberg? On this week’s podcast, our pensions agony uncle Steve Webb and pension and investing editor Tanya Jefferies tell the stories of the women paid thousands less in state pension over the years than they should have been - and discuss their probe into the matter. Steve estimates that there could be tens of thousands of women who have been underpaid state pension. This is Money has called for a full review, but the Department of Work and Pensions is reluctant to act other than on a case-by-case basis. Should more be done?
Also, on this week’s podcast Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss the reopening of the property market, who might be brave enough to buy and sell now, and what the forecasts are for sales and house prices. Estate agents Knight Frank predict a 7 per cent drop, while the Bank of England says property prices may fall 16 per cent, but agents claim that lockdown has created pent-up demand. And, as the furlough scheme is extended, we look at the implications of 7.5million people having 80 per cent of their wages picked up by the state and how Britain weans itself off that.
Should you save cash and accept low interest rates, or invest and take the risk that you could lose money? This is the perennial dilemma for those with some money to set aside, who are looking to build their wealth. And it’s not been made easier by a rollercoaster 20 years. Since the turn of the millennium, we’ve had three hefty stock market crashes, but we’ve also had the past decade of historically low interest rates. In response to paltry savings rates, more people have been encouraged to invest in shares for a better return, but the coronavirus crash has left the UK’s flagship stock market index, the FTSE 100, below its level on 31 December 1999, and burnt the fingers of many recent investors. So, is it worth investing, or should you just stick with the relative stability of cash? On this episode of the This is Money podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at our exclusive statistics on who is investing, who is bowing out of the market, and what the new generation of younger investors are doing. They also dive back into the question asked last week: how long do you need to invest for to avoid losing money? With some charts and data sent through to the team by Duncan Lamont, head of research and analytics at Schroders, they compare how putting money into either cash or the stockmarket fared over the past 150 years against inflation – and what the likelihood was of losing money over varying time periods. The team also look at what might happen next to house prices after the coronavirus lockdown put the property market into a deep freeze. Simon dives into the varying predictions of how much property prices could fall – and the bullish suggestion of one estate agent that it’ll all be fine. And finally, we discuss the businesses that we spoke to this week who are fighting veteran insurer Hiscox, because they believed they should be covered against coronavirus with policies that cite infectious or contagious disease… but it says they are not.
This is Money with Georgie Frost, editor Simon Lambert and Product and Knowledge editor Sarah Davidson. Autumn is here and with it an ill wind through the savings market. Why are things looking so bleak and are there any warm spots to be found out there? There’s a hurricane happening in politics, the team offer some tips on how to weather the Brexit storm…find out if we should really be stock piling food and take a look at how Labours Right to Buy plans would work for renters and buy-to-letters. Plus just how much better for the environment are electric vehicles? And don’t forget you can stay up to date with all the latest, breaking money news, just go to thisismoney.co.uk or download the app.
This week, This is Money takes a look at a raft of inter-generation financial divide stories that have popped up in August. This includes why those born in the 1980s have less disposable income than those born in the 1970s according to the Office for National Statistics and why the Bank of Mum and Dad is creaking. Assistant editor Lee Boyce, reporter George Nixon and host Georgie Frost run the rule over these statistics, along with proposals to raise the state pension age to 75. This was from a right-wing think tank The Centre for Social Justice and has left many industry experts irate. We also discuss data showing that two thirds of older people say they feel hurt by the inter-generational financial criticism that they are lording it up at the expense of younger generations. We also talk metal bank cards – why on earth would you want one and who is offering them?
Two-thirds of savers are being told to abandon final salary pensions - and this is despite the Financial Conduct Authority saying that advisers should start with the standpoint this is not a suitable option. That revelation arrived this week as the FCA said too much advice on valuable pensions is 'still not of an acceptable standard.' Are people getting the right advice about their gold-plated pensions, or are they right to jump ship? That's the question tackled by editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost this week. Meanwhile, a reader discovers an old Post Office Savings Bank book from the 1960s – but what is it worth now and can you even take the money out. Premium bonds – how do you really find out you've won the jackpot? Britain has a net zero emissions target for 2050, but what are the best electric cars to buy now? And forget fantasy football, we reveal the details of our fantasy share picking game where the winner will scoop a giant £20,000 grand prize.
Georgie Frost is joined by editor Simon Lambert and reporter Tanya Jeffries to talk about wealth: are the rich getting richer and should we worry about inequality? How rich are you? Fear not, if the answer is: Not very. This is Money has a plan to help you out. Also there's a focus on the over 60s, what perks you get and what help is available to you, if you are struggling. Plus, what is going on at Metro Bank drama and what you can do if you fancy a house that’s not actually for sale. Don’t worry, it’s all legal!
There are three certainties in life. You know the drill. You’re born, you will die and you will listen to this podcast about tax. As another new tax year is upon us, editor Simon Lambert and host Georgie Frost explain the tax changes that will affect you. There is a nice pay rise for more than 20 million people as the personal allowance is raised. And Simon answers some of the questions on everyone’s lips: What is the lifetime allowance What is inheritance tax? Why do married couples get a tax break? Should families be rewarded when both parents work? How does national insurance work? And why do the cost of stamps and all your bills all go up on the same day? You'll learn an awful lot about things you need to know about tax without having to read about it.
As we fast approach one fifth of the way through the 21st century, the world of finance is modernising in ways that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. And not always in a good way. The language of ‘savings’ has evolved to the point of dishonesty and even fraud. On this week’s podcast editor Simon Lambert and reporter George Nixon join host Georgie Frost to look at fancy new Innovative Finance Isas, at savings products that claim to offer 8% returns and to be protected by the official savings watchdog but are in fact risky investments – and the fraud investigation at London Capital and Finance, where thousands of ‘savers’ lost millions of pounds. Simon guides listeners through the dark side of mini bonds and the complex web of companies that savers’ money was poured into at LC and F before it collapsed owing £236m. The City watchdog supposedly overseeing the company is also now being investigated . On a cheerier note, George explains how teenagers are able to invest on the stock market and how easy it can be to get started, plus a couple of new free share dealing services, an old-fashioned holiday trap and whether insurance companies would pay out if your flash car crash is on video and on social media.
This is Money in partnership with NS&I. Host Georgie Frost and Editor Simon Lambert are joined by assistant editor Lee Boyce for an ISA special. With the clock ticking on Brexit and the tax year, now is the time to sort your ISA or pension. However, you may already be too late as some banks and building societies have already pulled their market-leaders. Saying that, Lee has still manage to find his top cash picks for 2019. Plus Simon helps you how to get started on investing in an ISA and how to choose the best (and cheapest) SIPP. The team call in the experts to give their last minute fund ideas and they tackle the B-word – Brexit- and it’s potential impact on your money, especially older savers.