Archived Content

What happens to a member's pension fund when they die?.

The basic answer to this question is that the pension scheme administrator uses the member's pension fund (together with any life assurance that the pension scheme trustees had taken out in relation to the member) to provide the member's beneficiaries with benefits in accordance with the pension scheme rules and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) legislation.

Who can benefit from a member's pension fund?.

As mentioned above, the scheme administrator has absolute discretion when deciding to whom to pay death benefits. However, the member should have completed and lodged with the scheme administrator a nomination form, indicating whom the member would like the scheme administrator to consider as beneficiaries.

Contributions for tax year end reminder.

With the tax year end just over two weeks away, clients looking to make contributions to their SIPP for the current tax year (2018/19), must have established a Dentons SIPP and provided a valid means of payment to Dentons main office in Godalming, by 5 April.

Happy birthdays!.

In the year that the SIPP industry is celebrating reaching its 30 year anniversary, Dentons is celebrating its own birthday – of 40 years!

SIPP vs SSAS comparison.

Since the mid-1970s and the early 1990s respectively, SSASs and SIPPs have been valuable tools in the adviser’s toolbox for clients who want more control over their pension investments.

SSAS scheme registration timescales.

​HMRC’s stance not to register schemes with dormant employers has been topical of late but in fact, HMRC have always had the power to request information and documents to enable them to consider fully new scheme registrations under powers contained in Section 153A of the Finance Act 2004.

SIPP transfer considerations.

A key aspect of the role of a financial adviser is to research the marketplace and recommend and review the most appropriate products and services available for their clients – this is no easy task in an ever changing environment.

Pensions escape budget reform - for now!.

The lack of tinkering with pensions in the recent budget has been welcomed by the industry. Surprisingly pensions were not even mentioned despite speculation beforehand that ‘pensions could be a budget victim’ to help pay for the promised increased spending for the NHS.

Pensions Tax relief.

A paper from the Centre for Policy Studies is calling for pension tax relief to be overhauled. While we agree 'more needs to be done' our views differ from the think tank. We will wait to see what the Autumn budget may bring.

Budget expectations?.

With the budget on Monday 29 October, we take a look at some possible predictions and how pensions may be affected.

Could pensions be a budget victim?.

Pensions have been touted as a potential victim for cuts, with justification mooted for the increasing costs of the current tax relievable contributions, and/or how to better distribute those benefits amongst everyone rather than the wealthy enjoying the majority.

Past policies: out of date nominations.

The importance of a client's correct understanding of benefits payable on death and therefore the correct completion and lodging with their pension provider of an expression of wish/form of nomination cannot be understated.

In specie contributions update.

In our May technical bulletin, we outlined that Dentons, along with nearly all other SIPP operators, had ceased to accept contributions in the form of in specie assets in 2016. This followed notice of HMRC refusing tax relief on these contributions based on their interpretation of legislation, which they maintain, requires contributions to be made as a monetary sum.

Pre-budget predictions.

Advisers are reminded that the 2018 Budget has been set for Monday 29th October. The earlier than usual date has been explained as being necessary to “clarify tax, spending and other financial decisions” before a final Brexit agreement can be negotiated.

We give you the freedom of choice.

We offer the freedom for clients to manage their own commercial property. This can have significant cost benefits for clients but it is essential that they understand what is involved and undertake the necessary property management functions.

Intellectual Property.

Amongst the more unusual asset classes you may find within registered pension schemes, is intellectual property. Whilst offering the potential for regular income and capital growth, there are many hazards, which need to be acknowledged and navigated.

Case study: Salary sacrifice.

Salary sacrifice or the sacrifice of earned bonus is probably the most tax-efficient way of getting money into a pension plan especially if the employer is prepared to augment the bonus given up by the national insurance contribution that would have been payable on it.

The carry forward conundrum.

One of the most common queries from advisers recently has been the use of carry forward of unused pension contribution allowances.

Buying commercial property with other parties.

Joint property purchases do not require each participant to Joint property purchases do not require each participant to have an equal interest in the property, so the arrangement has become more frequent because of its flexibility and increases in commercial property prices.

What constitutes taxable property?.

As a SIPP provider, we are often asked to comment on the acceptability of an asset. Despite the uncertainty surrounding SIPP due diligence, one point is not in dispute and that is the willingness to avoid taxable property.

SSAS - an alternative lender.

Although as far as economic cycles go we have seen far worse, advisers looking for alternative sources of finance for their corporate clients often approach us.

Treading the fine line of SIPP due diligence.

Recent trade press has reported widely on the issue of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme declaring three, now defunct SIPP operators, as in default based on a failure to carry out any due diligence on underlying investments, which subsequently failed. So are SIPPs off the hook?

Be aware of the LTA limits!.

The Lifetime Allowance (LTA) is the limit on the value of pension funds that an individual can crystallise in order to receive benefits, whether as lump sums and/or retirement income, without triggering additional tax charges.

Regulation.

Pensions Ombudsman (PO) and Financial Ombudsman (FOS) memorandum of understanding clarification.

Money Purchase Annual Allowance.

The Money Purchase Annual Allowance is the total amount of contributions that can be paid to an individual's money purchase arrangements in a tax year. A number of actions will trigger this allowance.

Lifetime Allowance change.

Although the increase in the LTA for tax year 2018/19 is relatively small, the timing and drawing of benefits could prove important when managing and minimising clients' tax charges.

Salary sacrifice.

Salary sacrifice reduces the employee's income meaning they pay less tax and NIC.It can also have other benefits such as a reduction in income so that child benefit or personal income tax allowances can be retained.

Tapered Annual Allowance.

Individuals whose adjusted annual income exceeds £150,000 may have their annual allowance reduced.

SSAS releases capital for company growth.

George and Dennis Gibley have a problem and have approached their financial adviser. The brothers' company has turned in a record year and profits will exceed £150,000 resulting in a corporation tax bill of around £28,500.

Dentons acquires bespoke SIPP book.

With effect from Wednesday 31 January 2018, Dentons has announced the acquisition of Sippchoice, the London based bespoke SIPP provider for an undisclosed sum.

SSAS Legal Entity Identifiers - Dentons' registration service.

Small Self-Administered Schemes (SSASs) trading or wishing to trade in equities and bonds, ETFs, derivatives and certain debt related instruments (reportable financial instruments) will now have to obtain a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) before trades can take place.

Pension scams are costing people their life savings.

Pension freedoms have opened the floodgates for scammers and conmen to prey on people who are keen to access their pensions. They are using increasingly sophisticated and convincing ways to ‘con’ people out of these savings.

Online capability enhancements.

We recognise how important it is for you to be able to get information quickly about your SIPP and are continually finding ways to utilise technology for your benefit.

Change in our investment proposition.

Dentons has always aimed to offer clients the widest choice of assets within their self invested pension however we have now made the decision to no longer accept new requests for direct individual accounts or stockbroker accounts to trade in foreign exchange (FX) or contracts for difference (CFDs) within our Dentons SIPP or SSAS portfolios.

Spread the word through social media.

As self invested specialists we are no strangers to the more adventurous investment proposals as indeed this is precisely what both SIPP and SSAS vehicles were designed for.

Ownership of non-standard assets.

SIPPs holding assets deemed as ‘non-standard’ now have to be recorded carefully by the SIPP operator and these impact on the required level of a SIPP operator's capital adequacy provision. As a result a number of SIPP providers are either stopping or restricting the level of non-standard assets they will accept.

What constitutes tangible moveable property in a SIPP or SSAS?.

Defining what tangible movable property is might be more complex than you think and if owned by the pension scheme would lead to tax charges. We explore what constitutes tangible moveable property and assets that potentially fall into this category; the most notable being any interest in residential property.

'Baby boomers' in need of retirement planning.

'Baby boomers' have now started to, and will, for the next twenty or so years reach the end of their working lives. Britain will have a larger proportion of its population at, or in retirement, than ever before and as this group of individuals reaches retirement, crucial life changing decisions need to be made.

TOGC clarification.

With the number of commercial properties being purchased through SIPPs continuing at a high level, it is useful to set out the treatment of Transfers of Going Concern (TOGC) which might impact some potential property investment cases going forward.

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