Author Archives: Alex Herbert


Budget 2015: Lifetime allowance cut to £1m

Chancellor George Osborne has cut the lifetime allowance of tax-free pension savings from £1.25m to £1m. The old allowance of  £1.25m was “unsustainable”, Osborne said, and the new lifetime allowance will be indexed so that it can rise with inflation from 2018. Changes to the annual allowance, however, will not be made.

Cutting the lifetime allowance will be a blow to the positive changes made in other pension reforms, said Claire Trott, head of technical support at Talbot and Muir. It goes against the promise of increased freedoms and the encouragement to save in a pension scheme.

“Not only will it penalise those in money purchase schemes more than in final salary schemes but it adds another layer of complexity to people’s retirement planning,” said Trott. “This will mean another round of protections that people will need to decide if they need to apply for and possibly the choice to stop contributing for fear of tax charges at retirement.”

This is the third time that the lifetime allowance has been since 2012, when it was reduced from £1.8 million to £1.5 million. It was lowered again in 2013 to £1.25 million.

Osborne had considered cutting the annual allowance too, which is currently at £40,000 but decided against this because it would penalize long-standing public servants and reward higher-paid graduates.


The forgotten element – State pension reforms

In the wake of the government’s sweeping pension reforms, all the news has been about the legalisation of pension busting, whereby anyone with a UK-based pension will be able to cash in their entire pension pot from age 55.

However, the pension reforms didn’t just alter the landscape for money purchase schemes: the State pension has also been revised.

The State Pension age will be increased to 66 between 2018 and 2020, 67 between 2034 and 2036 and to 68 between 2044 and 2046, for both men and women. The government has also said it will review the State Pension age every five years, with the first review due to take place in the next Parliament. This review will include an analysis of life expectancy by the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD).

Other changes include a simplified single-tier pension. This will provide a higher flat-rate pension of at least £148.40 per week.

However, while it is ‘simplified,’ many are unsure what they actually qualify for.

According to an article posted in The Telegraph this week, Steve Webb, the pensions minister, admitted he may have “oversimplified” the new state pension and “in the meantime, some people will get more and others less than the full single-tier amount.”

Whatever the state pension will be when it comes to your retirement, one thing is certain – it won’t be enough to live a life of frills and fancies. If you’d like to enjoy your retirement and do the things you’ve always dreamed of, there’s only one way to make this possible: save more money while you’re working.

If you would like a retirement income review, please contact Alex Herbert via email: today.


55% “death tax” on pensions abolished

Headline for votes but what is the reality?

It is safe to say that the recent announcements during the Conservative Party Conference have certainly turned heads. Following the scandals and subsequent resignations of Mark Reckless and Brooke Newmark, it was essential that David Cameron and George Osborne used this conference to create positive headlines ahead of next year’s General Election. Continue reading

Xerox Corporate Golf Challenge 2014 to Tee Off the first Saudi qualifying round

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, August 31, 2014–The 16th Xerox Corporate Golf Challenge (XCGC), one of the most prestigious sporting events in the region, has announced its seventh qualifying round will take place in Dirab Golf & Country Club, in Saudi Arabia on Friday, September 5th.

“The 16th Xerox Corporate Golf Challenge is excited to kick off the upcoming qualifying round in Saudi Arabia, which is the third GCC destination of the tournament”, said Dan Smith, Director, Integrated Marketing, Xerox Middle East & Africa. “Last year we saw a very strong field compete, and, we are confident that, this year, we will once again see an outstanding level of golf played in Saudi Arabia.”

Multiple two-person corporate executive golfers are invited to register and participate in the first Saudi-based qualifier where the winners will compete in the 2-day grand final hosted on two iconic golf courses, Tower Links Golf Club and Al Hamra Golf Club, along with overnight stay in the Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.

Having hosted number of prestigious golf events, Dirab Golf & Country Club features one of the best courses in the Kingdom and is notable for being the first 18-hole championship golf course in Saudi Arabia.

Now in its 16th edition, Xerox Corporate Golf Challenge is halfway to the Grand Final. The tournament has received marvelous support from sponsors such as Prestige Wealth Solutions, Skandia International, and long-time supporter ECCO.

Destination Partners for the challenge are Ras Al Khaimah Tourism, Waldorf Astoria (RAK) Al Hamra Golf Club and Tower Links Golf Club.

Supporting Xerox Emirate’s chosen charity, Noor Dubai Foundation, the 2014 Xerox Corporate Golf Challenge aims to contribute to the company’s 2014 goal of raising US$60,000. This is the cost of one mobile Eye Camp that can bring 4,000 treatments and up to 500 surgeries in a developing nation.

Winners of all qualifying rounds will compete in the two-day Grand Final round. For further information about the tournament,

The Xerox Corporate Golf Challenge began 16 years ago in the UAE in 1997 and was supported by the UAE Golf Association. Since then, the event has grown to become one of the region’s most prestigious and leading sporting events in the golf environment, with the objective of providing companies with a platform of mixing business with pleasure.

The tournament started with only 3 qualifying rounds, an additional round was added in 2001, and that number doubled to 8 in 2005. Between 2006 and 2012, the concept was rolled out in other regional countries such as: Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Qatar, and Bahrain to name a few. As a result, the event is now a regional network of national amateur golf tournaments promoted and run independently and has been awarded three times as the Best Corporate Golf Challenge in the Middle East with the latest award being in 2013. The winners of the qualifying rounds from each territory compete in the Grand Final for the Grand Prize. Winning prizes have ranged from a place in the Kenya Open Pro-Am Tournament, a place in the Dubai Desert Classic Pro-Am, a place in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship Pro-Am, and a life-time experience trip to the Open Championship 2012 at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Media contact:
Anit Kurian, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller / +971 4 450 7600