Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Pensions Regulator update
February 2018

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued their Compliance and Enforcement update for the period ending December 2017.

It is again evidence that TPR will not accept non compliance to automatic enrolment regulations.

This quarter sees the first criminal prosecution by The Pensions Regulator.

  • 32,211 Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued with offenders facing a bill of £400 for failure to comply with a Statutory Notice or specific employer duty
  • 6,770 Escalating Penalty Notices have been issued with fines between £50 and £10,000 per day for failure to comply
  • 79,879 Compliance Notices have been served giving notice to remedy a contravention of the employer duties
  • We’ve seen the first ever guilty plea in a criminal prosecution for Oldham based Stotts Tours.  They were charged with 16 offences of wilful non-compliance and ordered to pay a £27,000 fine, £7,400 in costs and £120 victim surcharge.  This was in addition to a personal fine for the owner of £4,455 and a £120 victim surcharge plus £14,400 in civil fines owed by the Employer!

Don’t forget … automatic enrolment is not an option.  It’s the law.

If you refuse to comply, you could end up with a criminal record.

The Corporate team here at Russell Ulyatt can provide you with the necessary guidance and advice to help you meet the regulations now and in the future with the provision of ongoing governance.

Please get in touch with us to find out how we can help.

Still time for year end pension contributions
February 2018

This is the time of year to review your pension contributions.

February and March are rightly popular times for reviewing and making pension contributions.  By this stage you should have a good idea of what your income for the tax year will be and how much you may be able to contribute as a one-off payment before 6 April arrives.

In this tax year, there are several changes to note:

    • Thursday 5 April will be the last day on which you can make a contribution to mop up any unused annual allowance from 2014/15.  To do so you will need to first use up your annual allowance for the current tax year.
    • The money purchase annual allowance was reduced from £10,000 to £4,000 at the start of this tax year, although the legislation achieving this did not arrive until November.  If you have used the new pensions flexibility to draw benefits, this may limit the amount you can contribute.
    • From 6 April 2018, the lifetime allowance rises by 3% to £1,030,000.  This modest increase may permit more benefits to be taken without triggering tax charges.
    • From 6 April 2018, automatic enrolment contribution levels increase, with the total of employee and employer payments rising by about 150%.  There will be another increase of around 60% the following year.

If you want to maximise contributions or require any advice about your pension planning, please contact us as soon as possible.  The calculations involved can be complex and miscalculations can lead to lost tax relief.

 

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances.
Tax laws can change.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.

Nick Onslow scoops prestigious industry award
February 2018

We are very pleased to announce that our very own Nick Onslow won the High Achiever Award at the Nottingham Chartered Insurance Institute’s gala dinner on 19th January 2018.

Nick Onslow (centre) receiving the High Achiever Award

The outstanding ‘Culture of Learning’ spearheaded by Nick, coupled with an array of his other professional achievements was recognised by the Nottingham Insurance Institute.

The High Achiever Award is a highly prestigious prize awarded to the local general insurance or financial services professional who has demonstrated the highest levels of attitude, performance and achievement in their working life.

Nick’s vision led Russell Ulyatt to achieve Chartered status in 2016 and its renewal in 2017.  This is tribute to Nick’s capacity to embed a ‘Culture of Learning’ into our company, further demonstrating our continued commitment to raising the expertise, knowledge and professionalism of our staff.

Following rigorous scrutiny by an esteemed panel of industry experts, Nick’s considerable and wide-ranging achievements have received much deserved recognition.  Here at Russell Ulyatt, Nick is known for his ambition, determination, commitment and enthusiasm.  This led to his nomination for the award by Ian Browne, Head of Advice, along with a recent promotion to our Senior Leadership Team.

Nick’s primary role is a Chartered Financial Planner providing exceptional service to the 120 clients he looks after.  In addition to this, his skills as a financial planner and human resources expert have led to him being a sought-after contributor on financial matters to national newspapers.  He also recently appeared on Notts TV offering advice on saving for Christmas and dealing with financial pressures when the festivities are over.

But it’s Nick’s innovative, transformative strategies within our company that, according to Ian Browne, really makes Nick’s credentials stand out.  Ian commented,

“Nick has been the sole architect of our ‘Culture of Learning,’ transforming the level of knowledge within the business with an emphasis on growth through professional development.  Recognising that the more knowledge our staff have, the better the outcomes for clients, Nick’s passion for individuals enhancing their own professional qualifications, mentoring schemes, and the provision of regular training events by Russell Ulyatt has created a real buzz around the office and ongoing learning is now the company norm.”

Not surprisingly, Nick is seen as the “go to” person in the company for young advisers and paraplanners and he also takes a role in training apprentices.  He gives generously of his time to read their advice reports and offer guidance, helping them to deliver great client outcomes.  His approach to recruit the best staff and invest in their careers plays an increasingly important role in staff retention and morale.  Nick said,

“I am very honoured and delighted to receive the High Achiever of the Year Award.  I appreciate the very kind comments made by Ian Browne in his nomination but feel that the award is testament to the aspirational ethos at Russell Ulyatt and great teamwork, which made my achievements possible.  So really, I’m accepting the award on behalf of the company.  We can all reflect on and celebrate this success and use it to motivate us as we move forward with our plans to meet the Chartered Insurance Institutes Higher Standards in 2020.”

I feel gratified that my colleagues show such a genuine commitment to their continued professional growth.  Their dedication to self-improvement helps them develop confidence and expertise.  Their success is great for morale and, of course, our clients benefit from this ethos.  Our investment in people is certainly paying dividends.  We recently had 30 exam passes from 22 members of the team.  This illustrates just how hard they are working.

Congratulations Nick.  A fantastic achievement.

The Pensions Regulator begin spot checks on East Midlands employers
February 2018

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has begun carrying out spot checks in cities across the East Midlands to ensure employers are complying with their pension duties.

Inspection teams will visit dozens of businesses in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester this month to check that qualifying staff are being given the workplace pensions they are entitled to.

The move is part of a nationwide enforcement campaign which began in London last spring to ensure employers are meeting their automatic enrolment duties correctly.

This is the first time these checks have been done in the East Midlands.  Short-notice inspections have already been carried out in Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, South Wales, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The checks will help TPR understand whether employers are facing any unnecessary challenges that they can help them with, such as helping them improve their systems.

Visits will also highlight employers who have not taken the required steps to become or remain compliant, paving the way for enforcement action.

Darren Ryder, TPR’s Director of Automatic Enrolment, said:

“The vast majority of employers are compliant with the law, but these visits help us identify why some may be struggling so we can take action where we need to.

Automatic enrolment is not an option, it’s the law.  Where we find employers are not complying, we will use our powers to ensure they comply so that staff receive the pensions they are entitled to.”

Nearly one million employers across the UK have met their automatic enrolment duties, with more than nine million workers given workplace pensions as a result.

Data to the end of December 2017 reveals 1,750 employers in Derby, 3,220 employers in Nottingham and 2,820 employers in Leicester have met their automatic enrolment duties.  As a result 125,000 staff in those areas have been put into a workplace pension.

If you need any advice on meeting your automatic enrolment responsibilities, please give us a call on 0115 907 5100