Rachel is product technical manager at Nucleus where she delivers technical training to users of the platform and also provide technical expertise in the form of factsheets, blogs and other content. She also has a policy role working with government, regulators, industry bodies and advisers. She has over 25 years’ experience of working in pensions. She’s well known within the pensions industry, and writes, presents and tweets widely on the subject. All of which she thoroughly enjoys.

Five things to know about the FCA Defined Benefits Transfers publications

Just before Easter, the FCA delivered its package of publications on advice on defined benefit transfers. Chief amongst them was its response to its consultation last summer, shaped by its recent supervisory work.  As well as the policy statement, FCA also issued a new consultation to cover areas raised from the previous work, as well...

The FCA’s focus

Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive at the FCA, gave a speech recently at the City Banquet at Mansion House, where he gave a useful outline of where the FCA’s focus is going to land over the next few months. The FCA is turning the spotlight on three areas it thinks are the big public policy issues...

The power of nudging

We are living through the UK’s most ambitious behavioural economics initiative. Since 2012 every employer is on the road to automatically enrolling almost all employees into a pension scheme, and paying a pension contribution for them. There is no doubting the success of automatic enrolment. The Pensions Regulator say more than seven million workers have...

Putting the brakes on pension contributions

Over the last 12 years (since A-day) there has only been one tax year – 2013/14 – where there haven’t been changes to the tax rules on pensions. Every other year, the amount individuals can put in and/or take out of pensions to get tax relief advantages have changed. For the first half of this...

Pensions: Why 2017 won’t be a quiet year

The times of calling for a quiet year for pensions are past. It’s now accepted each year is a busy year for pension legislation and pension policy. 2017 is shaping up to be no different. Although seemingly light on change at first glance, some major themes are forming, which will keep us all occupied over...

Lisa – the unanswered questions

George Osborne might have left Number 11 Downing Street, but his legacy, for the moment, lives on. In less than six months, his dream child the Lifetime Isa (Lisa) will launch, and the under-40s will have a brand new way to save for the long term. Technical details about Lisa have been slow to emerge,...

Are pension ISAs now inevitable?

The UK is a different place than it was a couple of months ago. The shock waves from the referendum vote to leave the EU have been felt far and wide, and the fun is just beginning. Over the next few years we have to negotiate our way out of the EU – an exercise...

Pensions and Pringles, what’s the link?

Sometimes I think pensions are the Pringles of the financial world. Now the lid has been popped open (by pensions simplification and all that) the politicians just can’t let them alone. As you know, once you pop, you just can’t stop.

The next 12 months is shaping up to be yet another busy year for pension legislation and regulation. Here are my top five changes to look out for:

How the Lifetime ISA will replace pensions, in just five easy steps

Since last July, the pensions industry had been on tenterhooks to find out the Chancellor’s decision about pensions tax relief.

Retaining the status quo seemed unlikely, so the majority of the industry backed the idea of a single rate of tax relief. However, it was widely believed George Osborne’s favoured solution was a pensions ISA – where contributions would be taxed (maybe with a bonus) and the proceeds tax-free. This would, in a single blow, save an enormous amount of money for the Treasury (some suggested £25 billion) – especially if it could figure out a way to apply it to the world of defined benefits.

Six pension predictions for 2016

Even by the standards of the last few roller-coaster years, it’s fair to say 2016 is going to be jam-packed full of pension changes. And whilst we can guess the outcome of some of these, others might be more difficult to call. One thing’s for sure – it’s going to be a busy year for both you and your clients.

Here’s my top six pension predictions for 2016: