The last couple of weeks since we learned of the death of Her Majesty the Queen have been unique. With the reign of Britain’s longest serving monarch coming to an end, the country came together to mourn the passing of one of the most recognisable figures in the world and most highly regarded at home. The culmination of the state funeral, both spectacular and intimate, is an event many will remember for the rest of their lives as we move into a new era. With the accession of King Charles III at such a difficult political and economic time, there are both adjustments to be made and opportunities to reconnect with shared values and ideals
We were finalising our newsletter just after the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, took office and we heard the sad news of the loss of the Queen. Government business was suspended during the period of national mourning, so the announcement of initial measures to help combat the cost of living crisis was immediately superseded. We have a brief Stop Press reminding you of the cap to energy costs. A full Budget is projected for later in the year.
Meanwhile as many grapple with the continuing effects of rising inflation and living costs, we focus on one of the success stories of recent years to mark the ten year anniversary of automatic enrolment for workplace pensions. Nearly 80% of those eligible are now enrolled. Persistently low contribution levels, however, mean that relying solely on auto-enrolment may not provide the long term levels of income many anticipate.
At the other end of the pension process, we also explore the potential pitfalls of withdrawing your pension funds early. While the flexibility of pensions freedom can help access funds in times of crisis, depleting your pension fund during times of volatility, particularly without taking advice, could have a serious impact on your retirement income.
Other stories for this edition include:
- Buy-to-let facing headwinds Rising mortgage rates and changes to energy ratings could see landlords struggling to make profits.
- How much ready cash is enough? It may be the last thing you want to hear when bills are rising but making sure that you have a rainy-day fund is even more important as inflation and the cost of living keep increasing.
- No-fault divorce: don’t skip on advice Simplified divorce procedures since April 2022 should not be equated with the simplification of the division of finances, so advice is still essential in this area.
We will of course bring you news of the impact of developments over the few months in our next edition, which will be with you before Christmas.