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Capital adequacy proposals come under fire at Henry Stewart conference

Speakers at the recent Henry Stewart SIPPs and Retirement Options Conference, 14 October 2014, voiced their concerns over the FCA’s capital adequacy proposals PS14/12: A new capital framework for Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) operators.

31 October 2014

Preserving lump sum entitlements; transfer window opportunity

A temporary relaxation of block transfer rules will allow individuals in older pension schemes the right to retain any tax-free lump sums in excess of 25% if they transfer to a suitable arrangement by 5 April 2015 and crystallise benefits by 6 October 2015.

24 September 2014

Pension saving for children

Establishing a pension for children or grandchildren at a young age means that from early on, children and young adults become familiar with pensions and what they can mean for their future retirement years.

28 May 2014

SSAS and professional support; new practitioner services

As the scheme administrator for all Rowanmoor Pensions SSASs, Rowanmoor Group plc is now offering scheme practitioner services for SSAS trustees with scheme administrator responsibilities looking for professional support for their scheme.

21 May 2014

Budget 2014 – Increasing pension flexibility

In his 2014 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced several changes to legislation covering drawdown from pension schemes, to provide members of schemes with more flexibility on how and when they can receive their pension entitlements.

24 April 2014

Budget 2014 – Combating pension liberation fraud

Following the 2014 Budget, the Treasury issued a consultation paper announcing several planned changes to legislation to help tackle the issue of pension liberation fraud.

24 April 2014

To protect or not? When breaching the LTA is a (defined) benefit

The lifetime allowance is reducing from £1.5m down to £1.25m in April 2014. As a consequence, some individuals with sizeable pension pots who thought they would be within the lifetime allowance, now fear their substantial funds will exceed the revised cap.

21 March 2014

Reduction in lifetime allowance – action required to protect benefits

The standard lifetime allowance is reducing with effect from 6 April 2014 with implications for members with pension funds that are likely to be in excess of, or close to, the lifetime allowance of £1.25 million by the time retirement benefits are taken.

15 November 2013

The Green Deal, EPCs and environmental issues affecting property owners

The much-publicised Green Deal, the Government’s latest energy efficient initiative, has implications for properties held within our schemes. The ultimate aim of the Green Deal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Great Britain. Whilst some of the measures to improve energy efficiency should be welcomed, it is worth noting what Rowanmoor Group will and will not accept. In addition we wish to highlight other events or circumstances which are not acceptable with property purchase.

24 October 2013

Reviewing retirement options; annuity or drawdown?

Approaching retirement can be very stressful. There are a number of worries but chief amongst them is the question “Will I have enough to live on when I am no longer working?”

24 September 2013

Keeping ahead of auto-enrolment duties

The impact of automatic enrolment on small businesses is one of the top two primary areas of concern, according to advisers polled at our recent interactive seminar workshops.

24 September 2013

The importance of the SSAS scheme administrator; why getting it wrong can be a costly affair

The small self-administered scheme (SSAS) must surely be one of the most enduring pension products in the market but in recent years, continually changing legislation has led to an increase in ‘orphan schemes’, highlighting the need for, and value of, an experienced administrator.

27 June 2013

SSAS loanbacks: a solution for small firms in lean times

Small businesses may have thought they had been thrown a financial lifeline, with the launch of the Funding for Lending scheme by the Bank of England and the Treasury back in July 2012. It was aimed specifically at solving the country’s small business and mortgage lending crisis. Under the £80billion Funding for Lending scheme, banks can borrow an unlimited amount of money for as little as 0.25 per cent as long as they maintain, or increase, their lending.

16 May 2013

Weighing up the benefits: SIPP or SSAS?

Member-directed pension schemes continue to hit the headlines; perhaps not so surprising in an ever-evolving industry and particularly one that has only recently gone through fairly significant change.

26 April 2013

Why capital adequacy proposals need to be revised

The FSA’s proposals for increasing the capital adequacy requirements of SIPP operators is a big issue for the SIPP industry, though there is general agreement that the capital adequacy regime should be reviewed and that minimum thresholds should be increased. Whilst we expect to meet the higher level of capital adequacy as proposed, this does not mean we fully endorse the FSA proposed method of calculation, in particular the link to assets under administration.

21 March 2013

Positive change to capped drawdown transitional arrangements

HMRC has recently advised that the Finance Bill 2013 will include draft legislation to amend the transitional arrangements for members switching from unsecured pension to capped drawdown. Under the new proposed legislation, transferring benefits from one registered pension scheme to another during a drawdown pension year which ends on or after 25 March 2013 will no longer trigger an automatic review on the following anniversary of their review date.

21 March 2013

Advising on pension transfers with a view to investing into unregulated investments

On 18 January 2013, the FSA issued an alert to firms “Advising on pension transfers with a view to investing pension monies into unregulated products through a SIPP”. Rowanmoor Group plc has always taken the stance that advice on establishment of a SIPP cannot be undertaken in isolation of ongoing investment advice.

28 January 2013

Date for re-introduction of 120% capped drawdown limit

Following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement of 5 December 2012, HMRC has now released draft legislation stating that the upper limit on capped drawdown will increase from 100% to 120% of the ‘basis amount’, the amount of annuity that could be provided using the Government Actuary’s Department’s annuity rate (GAD rate) applicable for the member at the time they take benefits, for drawdown pension years beginning on or after 26 March 2013.

28 January 2013

Funds may not be protected in the event of personal bankruptcy

The recent out of court settlement of the case Raithatha v Williamson, has serious implications for pension scheme members facing personal bankruptcy, who have passed normal minimum pension age as they may find that their fund may not be protected.

28 January 2013

Income Drawdown; improving income

The Chancellor’s decision to reinstate the 120% capped drawdown limit, announced in the Autumn Statement of 5 December 2012 was good news and after widespread coverage of the income drawdown debacle both in the national and trade press, this must be welcomed. However, this does not necessarily bring much comfort yet to clients affected by changes to their income, nor the industry bodies who have been actively engaged in pressing for change, as the Autumn Statement failed to clarify how or when this change will be made.

14 December 2012

SIPPs, RDR and a changing landscape

The FSA has published the results of its thematic review into the SIPP market. This followed a 2009 report in which SIPP operators’ processes and procedures were reviewed on their liability to risk. There are two other parts to the FSA’s review of the SIPP market that have been covered in the press recently; disclosure and capital adequacy. As a financially strong SIPP provider, in a changing landscape, you can be confident in our robust due diligence, corporate and financial strength and capital adequacy provision.

19 November 2012

Retirement Funding for Children

The previous Labour Government’s implementation of the Child Trust Fund, as an incentive to encourage parents to save for their children, was a relatively short-lived affair. Set up in 2002, the present Coalition Government stopped all new trust funds from 1 January 2011 as a cost-saving exercise. Whilst the savings limit was capped at £1,200 per year, this still provided a fund, accessible on their 18th birthday for participant children as they entered adulthood.

20 July 2012

Investment due diligence: focus on the wood, not the trees

The degree of investment flexibility offered by SIPP operators is wide and varied and given some recent investment failures is creating a debate about just what responsibilities lie with the operators, in particular those who permit non mainstream investments.

18 May 2012

Individual retirement options with specialist support

Recent NAPF research in February this year showed a lack of faith in the pension system and to many this may come as no surprise. How do we begin to re-educate, and instil confidence in those for whom retirement is not necessarily something to look forward to?

19 April 2012

Examining loanbacks

Recent press articles appear to validate the renewed interest in the loanback facility of the SSAS. Whilst there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to choosing which type of savings vehicle to use, this little known, or perhaps under used, feature, is where the SSAS comes into its own.

27 March 2012

Scheme pensions for SIPPs and SSASs and the Pensions Act 2011

There are a host of regulations in place, such as scheme funding requirements and the Pension Protection Fund levy, designed to ensure that benefits promised to occupational pension scheme members are protected. Defined benefits schemes have to comply with these regulations but in general money purchase schemes do not have to, as they do not provide a promised benefit.

30 November 2011

A new retirement solution for doctors and other LLP professionals

With the opportunity to supplement Health Service income with consultancy work from private practice, many doctors have self-employed income to more than match the revenue available from a career in the NHS, but not a comparable pension. Yet an opportunity does exist, using a defined benefit small self-administered scheme (SSAS).

6 October 2011

An alternative to small business bank lending

For small business owners, the current economic climate is not conducive to business expansion. Much of the problem derives from the difficulties companies experience in obtaining lending from the banks.

9 September 2011

Fixed Protection – Application Form now available from HMRC

From 6 April 2012 the lifetime allowance will reduce from its current level of £1.8 million to £1.5 million. The Government has recognised that members of pension schemes may have arranged their pension planning to achieve a fund of £1.8 million by the time they wish to take benefits.

9 September 2011

Rowanmoor Pensions partners Brooks Macdonald in new bespoke SIPP

Rowanmoor Pensions has joined forces with wealth management specialist Brooks Macdonald and created a working partnership to bring together two areas of expertise essential for a high quality SIPP; excellent administration and a bespoke investment service.

25 July 2011

Adviser Seminars May 2011– Future Focus

May was a busy month for the Rowanmoor Pensions National Sales Team who travelled the length and breadth of the country in a series of seminars for IFAs explaining how this year’s changes to pensions legislation can be used to their clients’ best advantage.

30 June 2011

Defined Benefit SSAS widens the options for SSAS funding.

At our recent adviser seminars (May 2011) much interest was shown in the Defined Benefit Small Self-Administered Scheme (DB SSAS) as a highly innovative and specialised tool, which widens the options for SSAS funding. It is not widely known that it is perfectly possible for a SSAS to be written under a defined benefit funding basis. Rowanmoor Pensions is one of the few SSAS providers actively offering this facility.

30 June 2011

Anomaly relating to Fixed Protection and Enhanced Protection

As you are aware, from 6 April 2012 the lifetime allowance (LTA) will reduce to £1.5 million. However, the Government has recognised that as the current lifetime allowance is £1.8 million it would be unfair to impose this limit on those whose funds have already reached this amount, or who anticipate that they will, in the future, with investment return. There is, however, an anomaly for those with enhanced protection (EP) but no lump sum protection.

30 June 2011

News round-up May 2011

Catch up on this month’s news from Rowanmoor Pensions, including special terms for investments with Investec Bank and SSAS, SIPP and Family Pension Trust service performance statistics for April 2011.

27 May 2011

Pensions legislation has changed. So have we.

6 April 2011 brings significant changes to the way in which pensions work. Ian Hammond , Managing Director Rowanmoor Pensions highlights changes to Rowanmoor Pensions products and services as a result of these changes and some new initiatives underway.

6 April 2011

Investment, Life and Pensions Moneyfacts Awards 2011 – have your say.

Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts is calling on intermediaries to help decide the winners of their Investment, Life and Pensions Awards 2011. Rowanmoor Pensions is eligible for the Best SSAS Provider, Best SIPP Provider and Best Income Drawdown Provider Awards. Find out more about the awards and how to vote for Rowanmoor Pensions.

6 April 2011

Changes to pensions legislation from 6 April 2011

6 April 2011 brings significant changes to the way in which pensions work. Robert Graves, Head of Pensions Technical Services, Rowanmoor Pensions and Chairman of the Association of Member-Directed Pension Schemes, outlines these changes.

6 April 2011

Scheme Pensions and the Minimum Income Requirement

On 31 March 2011 Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs published ‘Pensions: Draft Guidance on Changes to the Benefits Rules under Registered Pension Schemes’. In this document it explains that a pension paid as scheme pension from a registered pension scheme only counts towards the minimum income requirement if the scheme has 20 or more people receiving a pension from it.

1 April 2011

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