New figures this week have shown that the rate of unemployment in the UK is falling, yet pay is still stagnating and failing to keep up with inflation. At the same time, many large businesses have announced job cuts meaning wages continue to be squeezed as companies cut costs.
Annuities are retirement products that guarantee you with a regular income after you retire.
You choose a provider, pick an appropriate annuity to suit your needs and, in exchange for some or all of your pension savings, the annuity provides income until you die.
The use of annuities has declined markedly in recent years, with figures from the Association of British Insurers suggesting sales have fallen by as much as 80% since 2014.
Research from the Financial Conduct Authority reflects this trend, with year-on-year annuity sales down 16% in the six months to April 2017.
This is partly due to the fact that, following former chancellor George Osborne’s introduction of pension reforms in 2015, people now have more options when it comes to planning their retirement.
However, are annuities still a viable retirement planning option to consider in 2017?
Executors of an estate in England and Wales can now apply for probate online using a new online probate service launched by HM Courts and Tribunals.
This will allow executors to submit certain details online to obtain a grant of probate, although paper copies of the will and death certificate still need to be provided.
High-income parents may be failing to take advantage of a tax planning quirk which can save thousands of pounds a year in child benefit.
The amount of money being saved into Cash ISA Savings has dropped by a third, according to HMRC.
Official figures show that during the tax year of 2016 to 2017, the amount of money invested into cash ISA’s fell by just over £19.5 billion to £39.2 billion.
There was also a fall in the number of new cash ISA accounts being opened, with just over 1.6 million fewer accounts being taken out in the last financial tax year as the number fell to just over 8.5 million in total.
Working parents with children aged three & four years old can now claim 30 hours of free childcare each week.
The new scheme doubles the previous childcare entitlement of 15 hours free childcare and is funded for 38 weeks to coincide with school term time.
In total, an estimated 390,000 eligible working families can save on average of £5,000 per year on childcare costs under the plans.