Over-55s in England have more wealth in their homes than Italy's GDP

People in England aged 55 and over currently own £1.5trillion worth of property, £0.1trillion more than Italy's annual GDP, according to retirement income firm Age Partnership. With the average cost of a house in England standing at £229,383 and 6.3million over-55s owning their home outright, the £1.5trillion figure puts this age group among the richest property owners in the world.

A typical pension scheme that in 2010 would have taken 10 years to be back in the black is forecast to take more than double the time - 23 years, according to reports.

Over half a million workers who retire before pension age could get a boost to their state pension in exchange for a relatively small sum of money, according to analysis.

Savers with Prudential are only allowed to use new freedoms to dip into their pension pot regularly if they pay to see a financial adviser - and some are blocking clearing debt.

An insight into savers' concerns that they will not have enough money for their pension years, has been revealed in a survey of retirement confidence across the country.

Let's hope the Government does not get bullied (or bamboozled) by big business into allowing companies to renege on pension promises made to workers.

The investigation is set to scrutinise 'pre-pack' administration deals, which can allow a company to keep trading while leaving creditors, including its pension fund, out of pocket.

Fund managers will be required to breakdown the transaction costs incurred by the workplace pension funds that invest with them, under new proposals.

Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb says that up to 50,000 women could be at risk of losing out. Those affected are women who took time out of work to care for children in the 1980s and 1990s.

Family feuds over inheritance are on the rise, says law firm

The number of inheritance disputes reaching the High Court each year has soared to a record high due to the intricacies of modern family life and rising property prices, according to a law firm. Some 116 cases were brought in the High Court under the Inheritance Act last year compared with 15 in 2005 - an eight-fold increase in the annual figure. But this still relatively small number represents the tip of the iceberg of disputes which are either settled or end up in County Court, according to Dan Winter, partner at Nockolds.

I am currently my mother's only beneficiary but she is considering making my daughter one too. My daughter has married recently - would her husband have a right to half of what she inherited?

My husband and I made joint wills. We are divorced and he remarried three years ago. He has recently passed away and didn't make a will with his new wife. Is his old will with me valid?

MS sufferer battles for 18 months to draw early pension from Premier Foods

Jane Walker, from Heswall in Merseyside, made repeated requests for help and information from Premier Foods' pension scheme from April 2015 onwards, but got nowhere until This is Money intervened. A former human resources officer, Mrs Walker worked at Premier for 11 years until 2004, and she wants to make the most of her savings now due to her serious illness which has left her unable to work.

Savers have been stampeding to cash in their gold-plated pensions under new rules which allow customers to take their retirement pot as a lump sum.

Most new retirees are striking a careful balance between rewarding themselves for years of hard work while also making sure pension savings won't run out, finds a Prudential survey.

Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green said there was a need to look at the issue of 'inter-generational fairness' over the long term in Britain. But he said no changes would come in before 2020.

How do you fix final salary deficits? Seven ways to tackle the crisis

Some 11million savers are still in line for a guaranteed income for life in retirement, but those in underfunded schemes will be wondering if they can still rely on this promise. Yet any move towards allowing employers to duck responsibilities to staff is very politically sensitive - it would anger great swathes of older savers, a group who tend to vote. We explain the crisis facing final salary schemes and explore some solutions being put forward.

Vanishing pensions as Paul's was worth £1,300 in the 90s but he now owes £37.32

Paul Walton, who lives in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, had squirrelled away a £1,300 pension pot with St James's Place. Fifteen years later he checked the balance - expecting the fund's investment growth would have turned his pot into a tidy fund - only to be told the pot was worth nothing. Eye-watering charges levied by the company meant he actually owed them £37.32.

It is understood the Government is still mulling whether to introduce legislation or regulation to force all providers to participate, and ensure it is a blanket service.

Steve Webb said the average contribution rate - which measures the amount employers and workers put into a pension versus salaries - is 'a genuinely shocking figure'.

'Golden age' of retirement is about to give way to bleaker era

Pensioners were living on £155 per week in 1995 but this had risen to £297 by 2015 - adjusted for inflation so that was not the driving factor behind the growth. An Aegon reckons the present era of plenty for retirees is underpinned by three factors - generous and guaranteed final salary pensions, inflation-beating state pension increases under the 'triple lock' since 2010, and rising numbers of older people continuing to work part-time during retirement.

Top City watchdog Andrew Bailey has thrown cold water on the idea that investing more in property will help savers to fund their retirement.

Altmann said: 'The rise of anti-establishment nationalist movements, epitomised by the Brexit result, may reflect anger at the financial difficulties facing some parts of the population.'

How to plan your pension and beat fears over the economy

Nearly half of UK employees are suffering a crisis of confidence over saving for retirement, research for The Mail on Sunday reveals. Analysis by actuaries Willis Towers Watson and Nottingham University, indicates that wannabe pension savers are starting out with good intentions but many are being put off by a bewildering array of options. Increased choice, combined with economic uncertainty and conflicting financial priorities, is producing a widespread 'pension road block' says Willis - where people are putting off setting up a pension.

Banks and investment firms were last week given the green light by the Treasury to launch the tax-free accounts for the under-40s in April.

The Government will effectively contribute 20% of your fund, but slap an exit fee of 25% on the entire amount including all investment growth unless you stick to the rules or fall terminally ill.

From 6 April 2017, Government changes will allow people to sell their annuity income if they want to, without tax restrictions that currently apply, as long as their annuity provider agrees.

Figures tracking student buy-to-let properties across the UK show that in fact returns of 6 per cent or more are common. Sunderland is top of the pile, with landlords making 10.6 per cent on average.

People aged 18-24 were most likely to feel foreboding about their future finances after the referendum result, with 27 percent pessimistic beforehand and 43 per cent afterwards.

Nearly a third of borrowers with an 'equity release loan' take an average of £6,875 out of their homes for holidays, according to broker Key Retirement.

Dorset tops league of best spots to spend your retirement

Prudential ranked counties and cities on the basis of factors such as the weather, crime levels, access to healthcare, number of retirees already living there and pension income. Surrey's pensioners receive the highest average annual income at £21,200, while those in Dyfed and Powys suffer the least amount of crime, the insurance giant found.

Ever since Yvonne bought a £20 blender advertised in a magazine, she's been bombarded with junk mail after her name was put on the so-called suckers list.

Elderly couple

Moving savings from pension pots to ordinary accounts is the prevalent practice among savers taking advantage of the new freedoms, though it's tied with spending cash on daily living.

The chance to lock into a government scheme by paying national insurance class 3A voluntary contributions is only open for the next few months.

The new allowance will be added to the usual 25 per cent tax-free cash everyone can withdraw from their savings, the Government has announced.

How many years do you need to pay NI to get £155.65 full state pension?

A third of workers don't know that missing NI payments during career breaks could affect their state pension - although more than half of people take at least one year off during their lives. Workers need to make 35 years of NI contributions to get the full state pension, which is currently £155.65 a week for anyone retiring from April this year onwards.

Do you baulk at paying £150 a month for private health insurance, but want to be financially prepared in case you can't get quick treatment on the NHS? The answer could be to 'self-insure'.

Pensioners trapped in their homes by shared appreciation mortgages

Alexander Macrae, 82, (pictured) cannot afford to heat his large house, but is stuck living in it because the moment he sells Bank of Scotland will demand £147,250 - which will leave him with insufficent funds to buy a small flat. This is because, like thousands of pensioners, Mr Macrae signed up to a shared appreciation mortgage in the 1980s.

When the pound is weak against other currencies, British companies that do a lot of business in foreign countries get a boost.

A survey of 500 people who have accessed their pension since April of last year revealed that just one in six has budgeted for the cost of care as they grow older.

Will EU expats have state pensions frozen after Brexit?

Pensioners who live in other EU countries or hope to do so in future have had retirement plans upended by the Brexit vote - and it might be years before they can make decisions with any certainty again. A deal on pensions will be crucial to retirees trying to decide whether they can still afford to live in an EU country after the UK's departure from the bloc. Nothing is certain, but there are real fears that EU expats will join the legions of other British retirees around the world stuck on frozen state pensions.

New inheritance tax rules will save up to £140,000 on family homes passed on after death, but they are not straightforward. We answer questions you might have.

The PPF was created to take on funds from collapsed firms, but Webb said funds at struggling companies should be put into the rescue scheme before firms fail.

The report by actuary Lane Clark & Peacock revealed that 56 companies in the blue-chip FTSE 100 index disclosed pension deficits worth a combined £42.3bn at the end of 2015.

The ABI said that while the vast majority of savers appear to be taking a 'sensible approach', a small minority may be withdrawing cash at a rate that sees their money run out in a decade or less.

Lifetime Isa launch in April cast into uncertainty

The Government hasn't yet nailed down details of its plan to help young people save simultaneously for a home and retirement, according to top pension firms. Savers torn between these two important life goals were promised help with both by former Chancellor George Osborne in last Spring's Budget. But critics, including former Pensions Minister Ros Altmann, fear people who open Lifetime Isas will lose out on employer pension contributions and end up poorer in old age as a result.

Advisers are concerned stimulus measures from the Bank of England have given markets an unsustainable sugar rush and moving to lock in gains for pension savers in case of a slump.

The pensions row will, of course, rumble on, but what may be crucial now is that the significance of this debacle extends far beyond BHS. The state of the UK's defined benefit pension schemes is grim.

Britain's company pension schemes, were once the pride of the Western world. What is really needed is a regulatory regime that requires companies to fund their schemes adequately.

I have a pension pot worth £51,000 and want to use new pension freedoms to bequeath it to my children and grandchildren.

What pension deadlines must you meet as you pass ages 55, 65 and 75?

Pension age deadlines are far more fluid nowadays as older people have gained greater control over when they retire and how they run their finances in old age. But the traditional age milestones of 55, 65 and 75 are still important markers that call for informed decisions - even if it is just to postpone doing anything while still in the earlier stages.

Legal expert Nigel Shepherd, national chair of family law organisation Resolution, explains what a partner can claim from an estate, and how the cash machine withdrawal might affect the case.

Pension experts are worried pension sweeteners once dubbed 'plasma TV deals' are making a comeback as firms look to cope with the new funding crisis in final salary pensions.

Pension annuity payouts slashed again after last week's rate cut

Money Mail today reveals how the Bank of England's bid to boost the economy has left pensioners with incomes of just £6 a day after a lifetime of saving. Four of Britain's biggest insurers have slashed pension payouts since official interest rates were halved and billions of pounds was pumped into the economy last week.

Age UK says those with dementia or reduced cognitive function are the most vulnerable, but adds that elderly women are twice as likely to be preyed on as men.

In seven years, the highest rate on bank savings accounts and Isas has fallen from more than 5 per cent to 2.2 per cent. That's a loss of more than £1,000 annual interest on a £40,000 retirement fund.

Biggest shake-up yet for Pensions Regulator as MPs may demand sweeping new powers

The inquiry into the Regulator by the Work and Pensions Committee will consider whether it should be given new teeth to block takeovers, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Committee chair Frank Field MP (pictured) has indicated he favours such new powers but is also set to turn the spotlight on the Regulator's senior officers, calling them back for a fresh grilling in the wake of the BHS scandal.

Theresa May's director of policy has said pensioners should downsize or remortgage their homes to pay for care bills as there is an 'awful lot of money' trapped in the value of older people's houses.

A worrying report by respected consultancy firm McKinsey & Company predicts an end to the 'golden age' of bumper returns from the stock market.

Both annuities and final salary pensions, which provide retirees with a guaranteed income for life, are underpinned by gilt yields, which plummeted to fresh record lows after the rate cut.

People who signed up more than five years ago to drawdown pensions that allow some cash withdrawals are being forced to pay the fees.

The 400,000 Britons living in Spain are divided over what Brexit means for their futures. Some believe life will go on as usual. Others fear changes to healthcare and pensions falls that could force them to return.

Prudential has recorded a huge shift since 2008, as back then women retired on £11,300 - 46 per cent less than men - and now they expect to get an average annual income.of £14,450 a year.

Are the state pension triple lock's days numbered? PM says guarantee isn't under threat

Prime Minister Theresa May and her team were forced to deny plans to slash state pension payouts for millions of Britons, over the weekend. A memo, written by Baroness Ros Altmann, who was pensions minister until stepping down when the new Prime Minister started, stated the guarantee would not be affordable if the economy hit trouble and that it had 'fulfilled its purpose'.

Many savers end up in their employer's 'default' funds, chosen for the whole workplace. Pension consultant Punter Southall Aspire put nine to the test - and found they don't follow a standard model at all.

One company lost documents on 16 separate occasions and another charged £20 to reply to an information request, said new online player PensionBee.

With the Bank of England potentially cutting interest rates on Thursday, the crisis affecting many older types of 'gold-plated' company pensions looks set to continue.

Manual workers, carers and people with low life expectancy are among groups which it is feared will be penalised by increases to the state pension age.

Britain's wealth is locked into property, forcing people to release equity for retirement

Britain's retirees face an increasingly nightmarish cocktail of woes: rock-bottom savings rates, no annuity income worth mentioning and their money locked into the one asset they don't want to sell - their home. They may have no choice. Research from Aviva has found that almost a quarter of Britons over the age of 45 with a mortgage are expecting not to have paid it off by the time they retire.

Lenders' strict age caps on mortgages blocked many older workers and pensioners from getting a deal. But as more face debt in retirement, some are now scrapping limits.

An old age pensioner worrying about bills


Only a third believe state pension will be as generous when they retire as it is today and just 11 per cent believe it will be more generous, the survey of about 4,000 people found.

What are the challenges and top priorities for the new Pensions Minister?

As the Government has appointed Richard Harrington (pictured) as the new Pensions Minister, pension experts have expressed their view on what his priorities should be. Richard Parkin, head of Pensions at Fidelity International said the new government has got a lot on its plate at the moment. Here are what Fidelity believes are the six key priority areas for government policy on pensions.

Rachel Rickard Straus

The role of pensions minister has been replaced with that of a parliamentary under secretary - to be taken by Richard Harrington MP - a considerably lowlier position.

Dan Hyde, Daily Mail reporter for Money Mail

2016/01/18 Picture by Georgie Gillard

As our new Pensions Minister, Richard Harrington MP replaces Baroness (Ros) Altmann, who quit last Friday. Sadly, the contrast between the two could not be greater.

Total deficit of final salary schemes soars £90bn to £384bn as Brexit hits funds

The deficits of all schemes eligible to join Britain's pensions lifeboat increased from May's £294.6bn by a staggering £89bn, as Brexit fears have hammered their investments. Data from the Pension Protection Fund, which dishes out compensation to staff in certain circumstances, revealed the total deficit of all eligible schemes £383.6billion by the end of June, from £209.6billion at the same point a year earlier - an annual increase of 83 per cent.


Thousands of savers with old with-profit pension plans have had their retirement hopes dashed by a double whammy of crashing returns and the worst payout rates in history.

Dan Hyde, Daily Mail reporter for Money Mail

2016/01/18 Picture by Georgie Gillard

Insurers such as Standard Life, Prudential and Legal & General try to cover their tracks. They make it incredibly difficult to find information about how much they are paying customers.

Woman at the cash machine of the Royal Bank of Scotland, RBS, in London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Millions of workers are being enrolled with NEST - the state scheme for firms that did not have pensions. Now, a consultation has been launched to consider if NEST should offer withdrawal deals too.


Pensioners and families are receiving threatening letters out of the blue from debt recovery agents demanding immediate payment to HMRC in a drive to collect missing taxes.

WWII hero Dennis Wilson spent £4,876 on life cover that'll pay out £1,757

In the past 18 years, Dennis Wilson has won fame, praise and an honorary degree for his World War II poetry. He's even met the Queen and discovered four long-lost brothers. He has just one regret: paying £24 a month for an insurance plan that will provide his family with a £1,757 lump sum when he dies. He has now forked out three times as much as his family will eventually receive.

Complaints over pension freedom bungles fuel 18% jump in ombudsman cases

The Pensions Ombudsman Service handled nearly 5,000 cases altogether, although only around 1,360 were pursued for investigation. Some 63 per cent of investigations were resolved informally, and 37 per cent formally. Where the ombudsman did make a formal decision, around 40 per cent of cases were upheld or partly upheld.

LV= reckons that some 1.2million or 11 per cent of retirees could be depending regularly, from time to time or on occasion on financial help from loved ones.

Shadow of hand over a pile of GBP banknotes
for london and regional property page jan 2nd

Engineer CH2M, which has a number of contracts including work on the HS2 Railway, has been given permission to dump 3,000 savers from the Halcrow scheme into the Pension Protection Fund.

How to invest your pension in drawdown

While many people dislike the idea of an annuity, the alternative means keeping your pension invested in retirement and managing it yourself - a process that can be confusing and full of pitfalls. So here's a checklist, from investing, to income, taxes, the state pension, inheritance, illness, financial advice and much else.

Taking an income from shrinking investments early on can do disproportionate and irrecoverable damage to your income drawdown plan. So what are your options after Brexit?

Romantic senior couple seated on the beach and looking away during a picnic

Despite the fact that they were unable to vote in the referendum, the impact of Brexit on expat pensioners is considerable.

What will Brexit mean for pensions?

There's a lot of tosh talked in the heat of a referendum battle. But there are bound to be consequences for savers approaching retirement and pensioners now the UK has broken with Europe We look at what might really happen.

A Santander bank, UK

If you have nominated someone in a power of attorney document to help manage your money your bank should treat them as though they are the original customer.

Head offices of Prudential. Insurance giant Prudential said today it would look for further cost savings from its UK operation. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday July 28, 2006. The group, which posted a 17% rise in half-year operating profits to  980 million, said it had increased its cost savings target to  150 million a year by 2009, from the  40 million announced in December 2005. See PA story CITY Pru. Photo credit should read: Chris Young/PA.

The insurer will no longer compete to lure in customers whose pensions are held at other firms. Experts are concerned that the move could result in lower rates for loyal customers.

On top of exit fees - which are being capped at 1 per cent from next April - savers can face a welter of other charges, according to a Citizens Advice report.

Probate fees are currently a flat £215 for all estates worth £5k-plus. But hefty increases are in the pipeline, escalating from £300 up to £20,000 at the top end.

Shadow of hand over a pile of GBP banknotes
for london and regional property page jan 2nd

Up until the judgment experts feared that new pension freedoms could mean struggling borrowers facing insolvency would be forced to withdraw their retirement nest eggs to pay off debts.

Glitch at Aegon turns into pension admin nightmare for saver

Robert Deluce, 65, says he phoned Aegon half a dozen times but was given a different reason for his pension paperwork not being processed every time he spoke to staff. He says the entire frustrating saga could have been avoided if Aegon staff had just told him the problem straight away instead of giving him so many contradictory explanations.

Old age pensioner worrying about bills
Elderly woman looking through her utility bills, forms


Research suggests that many people leave retirement planning too late, with some 42 per cent saying they are now worried about running out of money in retirement, according to Experian.

Pension investors can stash gold bullion bought from the Royal Mint in their retirement pots from today, the 1,000-year-old supplier has announced.

People who cash in or move pension pots will no longer face rip-off charges after the introduction of a 1% cap next April. But what if you have already paid, or want your pension before next Spring?

My employer is closing its final salary pension scheme to new contributions from all staff still in it and is transferring us to a defined contribution plan.

Pensioners left out of pocket after tax codes are switched in sneak raid

The taxman has started deducting money from monthly pensions or salaries to cover dues on what it thinks pensioners get each month from savings interest. In reality, savers are being taxed before the savings interest hits their bank account. This is because savings interest is usually paid only once a year, rather than monthly.

This means customers with Britain's biggest building society are unable to share the burden of helping loved ones do their shopping or pay bills - even with their sibling.

The new British Steel sign is unveiled at the main entrance at the newly-branded British Steel steelworks plant in Scunthorpe, which Greybull Capital bought from India's Tata Steel, in Scunthorpe northeast England on June 1, 2016. 
India's Tata Steel on June 1, 2016 completed the part-sale of its European assets, safeguarding 4,800 jobs, but thousands more are threatened with no buyer found for the rest of the business. Tata Steel UK announced completion of the sale of its European piping business to Greybull Capital, a British-based family investment firm for an undisclosed sum. The deal, hailed by Tata, the British government and unions, means the return of the British Steel brand for the first time since 1999. 
 / AFP PHOTO / Lindsey ParnabyLINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images

Former pensions minister Steve Webb said that if complex rule changes go ahead, many final salary scheme holders could lose as much as £10,000 over the term of their retirement.

More than a third of this year's retirees are providing financial help of£250 a month on average, while one in seven are spending more than £500 a month on their family.

2 June 2016: Stephanie Graves from Hull, East Yorkshire, whose two children Bailey (9) and Bobbie (7) have been learning how and why to save money at school. They are pictured with their piggy bank and calculator...Att: Ben Green, Mail On Sunday Pic Desk..Picture: Sean Spencer/Hull News & Pictures Ltd..01482 772651/07976 433960..www.hullnews.co.uk   sean@hullnews.co.uk..

Starting tomorrow, Financial Planning Week will offer free one-to-one surgeries with advisers to anyone who wants to get their financial affairs in order.

My transfer value quoted 12 months ago was just over £115k but the current figure is just under £75k. The administrators will not divulge the assumptions they have used to explain this significant fall in value.

CMRW2R Elderly couple succeeding

The move could save around three-quarters of a million savers thousands of pounds for their retirement.

City-Andy Haldane who is the Executive Director for Financial Stability at the Bank of England. Alex Brummer interview.

The Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane admits to being stumped and says he cannot make the 'remotest sense' of his retirement savings.

Broken piggy bank with EU flag - symbolic image for the financial crisis of the European Union. 17669975. Emailed from Warren at 123RF - Warren@123rf

Insurers have used EU red tape as an excuse to chop pension payouts to record lows - while reportedly pocketing bumper profits.

How TV's Nick Hewer is taking on the fraudsters

TV presenter Nick Hewer - host of Countdown and formerly an aide to Lord Sugar on The Apprentice - is the face of a new campaign to crack down on so-called 'boiler room' scams. Thousands of people are affected each year but the true figure is unknown because most people are too embarrassed to report the crime.

What will you do with pension freedom - spend, hoard or dither?

An in-depth study of over-55s following pension freedoms reveals many people struggle to make a decision, while others are switching money into savings accounts and buy-to-let property, or simply eager to 'treat' themselves. Take a quiz to find out what kind of pension 'personality' you are, and what that could mean for your financial security in old age.

Get ready for pension freedom - but dodge the tax traps and beware of fraud

The huge overhaul allows older savers unrestricted access to their whole pension pots, and removes the need to buy an annuity to provide guaranteed income for life. But pension experts warn freedom reforms bring big and serious risks, like fraudsters stealing people's life savings, baffled retirees paying far too much tax, and the possibility of some treating their savings like a cash windfall and blowing them too fast.


For decades it has been the default option for most people on the day you retire: you take 25 per cent of your pension as a tax-free lump sum.

Seven out of 10 people find it 'shocking' and 'unfair' when they realise taking full advantage of the Goverment's pension freedom reforms could land them with a surprise tax bill.

Armchair guide to the great shake-up: Are you sitting comfortably? Then here is how

It's taken 20 years of campaigning by this newspaper - sometimes against governments of the day, other times against big corporate vested interests in the financial world. But after all the battling - and going a little greyer on top - it's time to raise a glass of prosecco and toast a new era. The great pensions revolution has arrived: goodbye unwieldy, straight- jacketing pensions; hello pensions fit for a modern, flexible Britain. From April 6, the pension pendulum swings firmly from provider to you, the consumer, the investor. Rejoice.




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Investing: don't miss

The best ways to take your retirement income 

Annuities are no longer the only option for taking an income and retirees now have a wealth of options from staying invested and taking money out through income drawdown, putting money in a fund portfolio or combining everything through 'third-way products'.

I will reach state pension age before next April so I am allowed to top up my state pension, but I am in two minds about whether to do this.

'Pension recycling' allows people to boost their retirement pot by generating extra tax relief - but anyone tempted risks a financial penalty if they overstep the rules.

Our pensions are changing - radically. Some say for better, others for worse. We say, make yourself as best informed as you can be with a copy of this super free guide.

Pensions Road Sign against threatening clouds

We tend to put ambitious targets on our hoped-for income in retirement and then underestimate how much we will need to set aside to achieve that. So how much should you save?

Happy retirement: But how long will you have to wait for your state pension?

Most of us have a clear idea of how we plan to use our tax-free lump sum. Far more important is what we do with the remaining three-quarters.

The new web option, which offers state pension forecasts to people of all ages, hasn't been fully publicised yet - but you can test out the early 'beta' version and provide feedback.

Why more families are going to court over inheritance

Modern family dynamics are also causing more rows, with divorce, second marriages, stepchildren and half-brothers and sisters now common. The more extended the family, the more likely it is that arguments will arise. One of the most recent high-profile cases is a dispute over the legacy left by Lynda Bellingham, who starred in the Oxo adverts in the Eighties.

Are you ready to embrace income drawdown after pension freedom?

Instead of being stuck with stingy annuities, retirees now have the freedom to dip into their pensions using income drawdown. These schemes allow you to take sums out of your pension pot while the rest stays invested. So what are the advantages and risks of doing this, and what schemes are on offer? We run through the main options now, and look ahead to what might become available in future.

Over-55s will be able to cash in their entire pension from this April, an opportunity that could tempt many to plunge their savings into buy-to-let property.

Daily grind: Are your pension savings in an investment fund with the kind of performance that makes it all worth while in the end?

If you signed up to a work pension scheme but took no further action, your savings are most likely in a 'default' investment fund. How do you check if it's any good?

Television Programme: Deal Or No Deal with Noel Edmonds.

Noelandphone copy.jpg

With-profits policyholders often face an impossible choice about when to take their benefits. Turn down today's offer and tomorrow's may be lower. How can you decide when it's time to leave?

Old people / couple (figurines) - sitting on a pile of money coins - savings / bills / financial / investment / pensions concept.
savings, money, finance, pensions, savings, money, finance, pensions, retirement, coins, pensioners, future, security, insurance, savings, money, finance, pensions

The majority of employees change jobs several times in their working lives - with the average person working for 11 different employers.

Should you take the risk out of your pension investments before retirement?

People nearing retirement traditionally switch savings out of risky investments and into safer assets, but pension freedom reforms are likely to prompt a big rethink of this practice. That's because derisking - or 'lifestyling' as it's also known - is normally done in preparation for buying an annuity, but many more people will be opting to stay invested an draw down an iincome in future.

The finishing touches:

Senior woman relaxing on float in swimming pool, portrait

Hunting down travel cover can be both difficult and expensive with older travellers typically paying more for insurance because they are judged more likely to claim.

Jeff Prestridge looks at legitimate ways in which the 40 per cent tax can be avoided, outlining six key steps for readers. Bridget Jones, pictured, has taken out insurance.

What should you do with a pension pot of £30k, £50k or £100k?

Pension freedom reforms will give people more decision-making power over their retirement savings from next year. The options to access your money, spend or invest it will widen - although your choices will still largely depend on the size of your pension pot. Financial experts Mark Stone of Whitechurch Securities and Ben Westaway of Jessop Financial Planning explain both your opportunities and the limitations on them.

Hand it over: How much will you fork over to the taxman if you withdraw all your pension at once?

Talk of 'pensions freedom' has left some savers with the impression they can take their entire pot and pay little or no tax. That is not true. We explain what will happen.

Hefty: Pensioner households spend more than £10,000-a-year on basic living costs.

The average cost of being a pensioner is £10,387-a-year, according to analysis that focused on how much over-65s spend on basic necessities.

Complex: Don't know your ACCs from your TERs? This guide will help you find your way through tricky pensions and investing terms.

Anyone going it alone when they're investing their pension could be met with a confusing array of jargon, even when carrying out the simplest of tasks.

Quandary: Some final salary savers want the flexibility that is being offered to defined contribution members.

Insurers have noted a rise in the number of calls from final salary pension savers about transferring to a money purchase scheme since the Budget.

How to find the perfect retirement property

Conventional wisdom says we all want to retire to a house by the sea or a cottage in the country with roses round the door. But finding that perfect retirement property is not easy - and buying it can involve some big financial decisions. Here are the pros, cons and challenges of upsizing, downsizing or staying put.

Eight dos and don'ts when choosing a retirement home

Retirement homes have shed their image of dark and dreary buildings and now offer luxury complexes or villages with on-site facilities aimed at older people. But banks won't give you a mortgage to buy a sheltered housing or retirement village property, so you will need the cash to fund it yourself.

Complex: The majority of people in defined contribution pension schemes have little involvement with where their money's invested.

Confused? Many pension savers are unaware how much they are being charged.

Pensions minister Steve Webb has announced that all defined contribution workplace pension providers will have to offer complete transparency to savers

Happily married: Couples are among the winners in the pension shake-up

A new flat rate state pension worth £144 a week in today's money is being introduced from 2016, while complicated and unfair old rules are being swept away. What will the changes mean for you?

Looking to draw up a will? Make sure you're not taken for a ride by cowboy will writers

Are you at risk of leaving your family with nothing but legal bills because of a badly written will? Find out what your options are and how to guard yourself against an invalid will.


Combining pension pots built up in different jobs could make real financial sense

Big decision: Deborah Hillier-Paul has more time  for walking

A major report into how pension pots are turned into income at retirement is expected to be published by the Financial Conduct Authority this week.

Marriage changes: State pensions will be calculated based on individual working records from 2016, so people will no longer be able to rely on their spouse's record.

Almost two million married retirees receive a state pension top-up based on their partner's work record but this will close to all claimants in 2016. This is Money takes a look at who this will affect.

Tools: Sipps allow you to manage your own pension investments but come with different costs

The rise of DIY online investing has transformed the way people are able to save for retirement, but navigating the maze of Sipp charges can be a tricky task.

If I die and my husband remarries, how do I ensure my kids inherit my money?

I want to ensure that if I die before my husband he gets the money, but if he remarried and then died my half would end up with my children not any new spouse or her children. How can I safeguard so that any new wife would not reap the rewards of what we have built up and at some point my children will get something from my estate?

The final salary pension fund at my company is in deficit. The situation has not been helped by the big market falls since the New Year. How worried should I be about this?

I have inherited a pension pot from an elderly relative. I am not sure what to do with it. What are the rules? Pension export David Smith of Tilney Bestinvest explains.

Can I dispute will of a deceased relative preyed on by family member?

He suddenly kept turning up on my relative's doorstep prior to her death after ignoring her for years, redid her will to leave all assets to his own wife and appointed himself executor. By the time family members had been informed of the death, he and his wife had the house cleared out and all family items sent to an auction, and had a fast funeral with no announcement or attendees apart from him and his kids. We have no idea how much the assets were worth but there were valuable paintings, antiques and at least £50,000 in cash. Is this legal and what action can be taken?

Help! Market turmoil is sapping my income drawdown pension plan

I retired last year and put about £80,000 in an income drawdown plan following the pension freedom reforms.The trouble is my portfolio is doing badly, and I'm really worried about the impact of all these market losses since the start of the year. What should I do - change the investments in my portfolio, reduce the income I take from it, think again about buying an annuity, or something else?

I am aged 61 and my husband 63. After 40 years of marriage my husband and myself are going to separate. We have split everything 50/50, but can our pensions be left as they are?

I'm still years away from retirement, so how should I know whether I'd want to go for drawdown, an annuity or cash in the future? How do I decide what's best to do?

My mother recently died and I was shocked to discover that she left her entire estate to a local charity, despite the fact that I own next to nothing. Can I challenge the will?

Pension expert David Smith calculates that topping up by the full amount and deferring for just one year could increase your state pension income by 34 per cent to £159.13 a week.


I am a 58-year-old woman with 32 years of National Insurance contributions. I don't know how to ensure I get the maximum state pension when I retire at 66 in 2023.

It's sensible to consider the impact on your state pension if your work situation changes - you don't want to lose out by making careless and avoidable mistakes.

Will I lose some new state pension even if I pay full NI for 35 years?

I'm really worried I won't qualify for the new, full flat-rate pension when I retire because I opted out of paying National Insurance contributions for five years back in the 1990s. now I understand the Government is going to reduce my state pension based not just on the years I opted out, but on what it thinks I might have gained in my private pension during that time - and it'll do this even if I manage to make full NI contributions for 35 years.

To Let signs adorn houses in the Selly Oak area of Birmingham on November 21, 2007 in Birmingham, England. Buy-To-Let mortgage provider Paragon suffered further share price set backs today as its funding difficuties sent the stock tumbling a further 21%. The mortgage group's shares have lost more than half their value since news it may have to turn to shareholders for emergency funding and could close to new business if it cannot secure new credit.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

I was planning to use buy-to-let properties to fund my retirement, instead of a traditional pension pot, but the Chancellor is reducing tax relief available. Is my plan no longer viable?

I've been asked to be an executor - should I do it, what will it entail and am I liable if something goes wrong?

I'm talking to my children about how best to leave them an inheritance. Should I keep as much as possible in my pension pot, or buy a house worth £1million?

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My husband and I are coming up to retirement and though we don't have much of a pension, we do have £180,000, which we would like to invest to give us an income. Is it better to buy shares or funds?

Help! I want to move a £40k pension pot but Phoenix Life says no

Phoenix say the Retirement Annuity Trust with them cannot be broken and I now find that almost all other providers will not take a policy in Trust. Am I correct in thinking that in spite of what the pension freedom legislation proposes, I'm locked into Phoenix Life and will have to take their annuity no matter how poor its value or cash it in?

Should I pay as much as possible into a pension before I retire in three years?

I am three years away from retirement and earn £70,000 a year. Our children have left home and finished university and my wife and I now only have ourselves to support. A friend told me I should pay as much of my salary into a pension as possible over the next three years before I retire. Is this worth doing?

Why has my 'with profits' pension fund shrunk 11% while stocks surged?

Holder of Aegon with profits policy wants to know how his 'terminal bonus' could have been cut 46%, drastically reducing his pension pot, while stock markets reached record highs. He asks: 'Where did this money go to? At what point during the last two years did it disappear?

What should I do with a £100k pension pot? Must I pay for advice?

I'm looking for what to do with my pension pot in a few months when I retire. Ideally I'd like to not buy an annuity, and hopefully keep some or all of the pot to pass on to my wife or the next generation. While I'd be happy researching which funds to invest in now, I guess I'm not the best person to do this and I certainly wouldn't want to be doing this with a fading memory or mental capacity.

Older man using laptop in kitchen --- Image by © Dan Brownsword/cultura/Corbis

Today I received a cold call and follow-up email from a company about pensions advice. How can I tell if it's true or a scam? Or can you point me in a better direction?

Man handing keys to couple, close-up

She wants to sell it to me minus the 1/3 inheritance I would have received. Am I likely to encounter any roadblocks with tax?

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I have a private pension pot of about £50,000, alongside a final salary scheme that will pay me £10,000 a year. How do I weigh up whether to take a tax-free lump sum?

The letter explained that because he already has an annual annuity of £758 from Prudential he does not qualify for a trivial pension payout.

Was I contracted out of the second state pension without realising?

I'm worried I might not qualify for the new full state pension, but I can't check because the Government is only sending forecasts to people aged 55 and over. I fear that some of my employers opted me out of the second-tier state pension without me realising what they were doing or the implications of it at the time. I don't recall ever signing anything specific, but they might have notified me in the packets of bumpf they sent me and I never read.

Premium Bonds winners

October 2016
Prize value Winning bond No. Area
£1,000,000 276AV278339 Essex
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£50,000 2VR747799 Greater Manchester
£50,000 241QS845329 Hertfordshire
£50,000 206GW792012 Sheffield
£50,000 103WK587629 Reading
£25,000 92NE335986 Overseas
£25,000 86GW534216 Cheshire West and Chester
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