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Blacktower MD, John Westwood, to take FEIFA forward into Brexit as Chairman

 “I am looking forward to the challenges ahead, particularly as the UK faces the prospect of Brexit and all the change that this may bring about for the financial services sector.  FEIFA exists to benefit members and consumers alike,  and aims to ensure both are protected under the stringent legal and regulatory framework in place for our industry. As the UK’s withdrawal from the EU goes ahead, IFAs will be at the forefront in ensuring consumers financial dealings are secure,” John says.

FEIFA was set up in the wake of the global economic downturn which commenced in 2007. The organisation’s main aims are to bring the highest standards of professionalism to bear on an industry which has, at times, suffered in the wake of regrettable actions from a minority of individuals.

As a result, FEIFA only accepts IFAs and financial services companies following a formal and rigorous vetting and due diligence procedure which assures consumers that its members uphold legal and regulatory requirements in all day-to-day activities.

Paul Stanfield, Chief Executive of FEIFA commented “John has brought a wealth of industry and advisory sector experience to our Board in recent times and I am personally very pleased that he will be our new Chairman. Following the Brexit vote we will no doubt see significant change in our world over the next 12 months and beyond. FEIFA will ensure that our members are kept fully informed and advised during the whole process, and John’s know-how will be invaluable in this, I am sure”.

As the founder and Group Managing Director of Blacktower, John Westwood has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector and has built up one of the longest standing wealth management companies in the UK, EU, and the Caribbean, and has provided a wide infrastructure which enables expats access to trusted advice on all manner of financial decisions, from pensions and tax solutions to equity investments. 

 

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.

Other News

Most British expats in Germany decide to stay

St Mary's ChurchNew figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have given a more accurate idea of the number of Britons living in Germany (and vice versa) and also show that many UK expats in Germany have made the decision that they will stay.

The report was compiled as part as a series and published as a response to the need for data on the British lives that will be most affected by Brexit. It included statistics on where British expats live and work, how long they’ve lived there, and what sort of employment they most often take on.

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Final salary pensions – why now is a good time to cash in

Juicy lottery-sized sums are being offered to savers to tempt them out of gold-plated workplace pension schemes and into personal plans. We’ve explored whether you should consider taking a final salary pension, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of withdrawing.

What is a final salary pension?

A final salary pension, sometimes referred to as a gold-plated pension, is a special style of retirement fund that is based on your final or average salary.

The main difference between this and a defined contribution pension is that a final salary scheme gives you a guaranteed sum annually for the rest of your life when you retire.

To work out the value of your final salary scheme, consider a few factors: 

  1. Your final or average salary at your place of employment (confirm this with your employer)
  2. Your length of service
  3. The final salary scheme’s accrual rate (this is often 1/80th)

Your final salary pension will take each factor into account, and the resulting figure will be the guaranteed annual sum you are entitled to.

For instance, if you worked somewhere for ten years, and leave on a salary of £100,000, with an accrual rate of 1/80th, you will have a guaranteed retired annual income of £12,500.

It is possible to undertake a final salary pension transfer. Depending upon how long you expect to enjoy retirement, this could be a favourable choice. However, it’s important to consult a financial advisor to make your final salary pension transfer values work harder.

What are the benefits of transferring a final salary pension?

Assessing your final salary pension transfer value, you might consider it worthwhile to withdraw. We’ve outlined the main benefits of taking your final salary pension:

Receive the cash value of your final salary pension

Withdrawing from a final salary scheme allows you to receive a cash lump sum in return for forfeiting your guaranteed income in retirement. This final salary pension transfer value is the main reason to withdraw from a scheme, as it offers you financial freedom.

Remove ties with your employer

This is an especially important point if you’re concerned that your employer may not exist throughout your full retirement. For most, the pension protection fund (PPF) will cover your pension, but, for especially high earners, there is a PPF ceiling of £41,461 (as of April 2020).

Enjoy a flexible income in your retirement

A final salary scheme entitles you to a guaranteed annual income when you retire, but if you go down the route of transferring your final salary pension you will be able to enjoy a little more flexibility in how you receive your income. Usefully, by withdrawing from your final salary scheme, you can choose to take more out in your younger years.

Choose how you want to invest your pension

A final salary scheme is controlled tightly to accommodate all employees and their interests. When withdrawing from the scheme, however, you can take complete control over how your pension fund is invested.

The considerations you should make before transferring your final salary pension

While there are certainly benefits of going down the route of transferring final salary pension funds into various other pots, it’s important to consider what you’ll be giving up:

  • Entitlement to a fixed annual income for the rest of your life
  • A safe income that doesn’t fluctuate with volatile markets and share prices
  • Spousal and family benefits that come with a final salary scheme

 Example: Should I cash in my final salary pension?

An example is Mrs Dee (not her real name), 4 years ago she asked for her final salary transfer values, which came in at £250,000 – a nice sum, you may think. After reviewing all the facts and figures available, however, I advised Mrs Dee to leave her final salary pension where it was, which she duly did.

Towards the end of last year, because of favourable market conditions, I applied again to see the value of transferring her final salary . This one came in at just under £600,000.

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