Malcolm Small, a Senior Advisor on Financial Services Policy at the IoD, reflects on the new pension rules.
As the dust settles after the announcements in Budget 2014, it is becoming clear that the choices for consumers at retirement around how they might generate income have moved from huge and complex, to huge, complex and almost infinite. Recent announcements about the tax treatment of inherited pension funds have added fuel to the fire. Conversations with industry players and commentators have revealed some quite surprising conservatism and paternalism, suggesting that the whole purpose of pension saving is to produce a regular and predictable income stream, rather in the same way an annuity does, and that such an outcome should be mandated. This feels rather like where we were pre-Budget, and references have been made to the new freedoms being particularly bad news for low to modest earners, who will, it is alleged, be least well equipped to make decisions about their pension fund. Read More »
Caroline Castle, from Torquil Clark, provides monthly guidance on auto enrolment topics that employers should pay particular attention to.
There has been a lot of news recently about “zero hours” staff and the uncertainty that this causes both the employee and the employer. These are employees who have a contract under which they work for a certain employer, but do not have a fixed number of hours or schedule for their working week. An employer can determine there is no work for the employee and the employee themselves can also decide they are unavailable to work during at a particular time. The arrangement might be considered along the lines of “temping” but with one specific employer. As such, their earnings fluctuate greatly between pay periods and can be zero when there is no work or they’ve taken annual leave. As we know these contracts can create issues with the service the employer provides, as evidenced in the baggage handling situation at Gatwick Airport this summer. However they also introduce other issues on account of Auto Enrolment.
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Over the past 18 months since David Cameron first outlined his broad vision for renegotiating the UK’s place in a reformed European Union, discussion over how this might play out has occupied much of the debate surrounding the Conservatives’ future Europe policy orientation. Protecting the interests of countries outside the Eurozone, “repatriation of powers” and freedom of movement are just some of the issues that have been thrown into the mix.
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The Annual Convention is a place for ideas. You’d expect nothing less from an event, now in its 64th year, where over 2,000 business leaders, entrepreneurs and politicians meet to set the business agenda for the year ahead.
And this year’s theme, ‘game changers’, fits right into the legacy of the Convention. The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, arguing that we’re still “in the very beginnings of the internet” may feel a far cry from Earl Mountbatten of Burma urging his audience “to be ready everywhere, all the time” back in 1959. But preparing for the future and anticipating tomorrow’s challenges have always been cornerstones of the Convention’s philosophy. Read More »
Allister Heath, the deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph, recently gave a rather gloomy analysis of the UK’s prospects. “Britain’s problem,” he said, “is that our economy and society aren’t sufficiently dynamic. We are not adapting fast enough, with dire consequences for our productivity.”
At the IoD we are more positive about the ability of Britain’s business community to innovate, creating new products and services, and boosting competition for consumers. But Heath is right that a healthy economy requires permanent revolution, with creative companies constantly disrupting markets and developing new technologies.
That’s why at this year’s IoD Annual Convention we have decided to celebrate the game changers who are reshaping the way we live, in areas ranging from transport to media, communications, entertainment and even currency. Read More »
I am always short of time. If my business is booming, it is spent looking after customers, staff and suppliers to make sure we do a good job. If business is quiet, I am trying to win work … and get back to position one.
In business we always set ourselves goals, whether it be to increase profits, launch a new product or service, or start exporting. The biggest challenge I faced in the last couple of years was to actually practice what I preached. When giving staff appraisals I always want them to have additional training or qualifications as part of their personal development plan. But what about me?
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