Five things your clients will call you about this week

Author: Professional Adviser
IFAonline | 05 Mar 2012 | 11:00

Categories: Emerging Markets| Income| RDR| Tax Planning

Topics: RDR| Annuities| final salary| Tax| ISA| Capital gains tax| Brazil| emerging markets

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It's our round-up of the stories your clients may have read in the national newspapers over the weekend...

Pension mis-selling scandal

The next big mis-selling scandal could be around the large numbers of workers encouraged to switch out of their final salary schemes.

The Sunday Telegraph claimed to have evidence that, in some cases, 55% of workers who receive financial advice are switching out the schemes, with advisory firms winning multi-million pound contracts from major pension schemes by promoting high transfer rates.

One ‘senior industry source' told the paper that advisory firms were demonstrating a "lack of integrity" and were "deliberately exploiting most people's ignorance about pensions to make a quick buck".

Advice gap

Some clients approaching retirement may have been alarmed by a headline in the Mail on Sunday, warning of an ‘advice apartheid' after the retail distribution review is implemented.

It claimed savers with more modest pension funds - worth less than £50,000 for example - could find themselves priced out of the market and left with lower incomes in retirement.

It added that, at the moment, IFAs use commissions earned from helping those who have amassed bigger pension pots to subsidise their assistance for those with small ones.

Lack of interest

It's three years since the Bank of England dropped interest rates to 0.5% and the Guardian issued a wake-up call to savers sitting on billions in wasted cash. According to research by the paper, Brits have lost as much as £60bn in interest since the rate was cut to its record low level. However. it did point out ways in which current account holders could get more interest, with cash ISA rates of up to 4.25% available.

Tax tips

With the tax year end just around the corner, every major paper is packed with tips on making the most of tax allowances, and the Sunday Express was no exception. Citing recent research on huge tax wastage, it led with the usual prompting on ISAs. It also pointed out some of the technicalities of topping up a pension and some capital gains tax scenarios. There was also a reminder that buy-to-let properties do come with a tax bill.

Brazil

It's apparently the least heralded of the Bric countries, but could Brazil be the place to invest in 2012? The Independent on Sunday cited robust economic growth, low debt levels and a healthy inflation rate as some of the reasons for investing in the South American giant. Among the funds mentioned by the contributors for exposure were Allianz RCM Brazil, Aberdeen Latin America and the M&G Global Emerging Markets fund.

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