TIMES & SUNDAY TIMES
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TIMES & SUNDAY TIMES
Christine Grainge was accustomed to having to juggle her job as a payroll assistant with looking after her young children. But when Covid struck it took away her childcare lifeline. "I relied on my parents to look after the children but they are vulnerable and I couldn't ask them to risk catching Covid," said Grainge, who lives in Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire.
Heather Carr 48, works in the events industry and, like many mothers, has always juggled her day job alongside raising her family. Life was hectic, but she kept her evenings and weekends free to concentrate on her three daughters (aged 14, 12 and 10). The pandemic changed all that.
Dealing with breast cancer during the pandemic has taught one family about the importance of getting the right kind of insurance - and giving your insurer the right information. Sara Regan, 44, "felt that life had been cut short" when she discovered she had breast cancer.
A widow who lost her husband of 48 years to coronavirus had to fight for five months to get a payout from her private medical insurance.
Middle-aged homeowners are encountering problems getting a mortgage deal because lenders have failed to keep up with the trend for borrowers getting on the property ladder later in life. Banks increasingly insist that borrowers continue working for the term of their loan, or deem them to be borrowing too much, too old.
Pluck a leaf from Greta Thunberg's book with your Isa this year by investing ethically - and avoid the charlatans looking to exploit your beliefs
Have you entered the Twenties loaded with debt but still want to retire early? Join an anti-spending revolution in 2020 to shave years off your working life.
Office workers won't grind out a full week 9 to 5 at their strip-lit desk ever again. News of three successful vaccine trials will start to unlock re-entry to open-plan workplaces, but after Covid-19 forced white collar employees to mass work from home, employers are accepting homogeneous work habits are over, and the future of office work is hybrid.
Bosses have a battle on their hands to prove that after months working from home, employees' physical presence is both necessary and safe.
Being publicly dumped live on Parliament TV is not a good way to find out about the end of a 20 year relationship, but that's exactly what happened to shocked Huawei directors on July 14.
In the coming months, tens of thousands of workers in Anglo American's mines in South Africa will be asked to use a new piece of equipment: it could be phone, watch-based, or built into existing personal protective equipment like hard hats.
This year, activity in the business world has been frenetic for all the wrong reasons. In March, companies - many already running on razor-thin margins - faced surges of panic and damage limitation as coronavirus caused sector after sector to be shut down. Few business leaders were prepared.
Social distancing and isolation to slow the spread of the virus has spawned the world's largest work-from-home experiment, and with it questions on how to share messages with staff scattered to the four winds.
INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS OF ENGLAND AND WALES
Coronavirus has accelerated a reshaping of how we work and consume, triggering a series of dramatic corporate successes and failures that look increasingly likely to be permanent, as companies struggle and strive to keep up.
Evidence is growing that COVID-19 is creating a two-track housing market, where the wealthy grab more space and poorer potential buyers are shut out.
The past month has seen previously unthinkable change for the banking sector. Journalist Laura Miller considers how coronavirus could further affect banks and their customers
Open Banking has been, prematurely, branded the revolution that never was
No sector wanted the dubious honour of being the first subject to a Citizen's Advice super complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Financial services shared the prize.
Laura Miller looks at whether recent examples of poor compliance and governance could undo public confidence in the peer-to-peer model.
Laura Miller discovers the corporate governance failings that led to the TSB IT crash, which left customers locked out of online accounts and drew regulatory attention.
Unemployment has risen sharply but the situation have been worse were it not for the government's Job Retention Scheme.
The Bangladeshi government says its garment industry faces a "major crisis" because companies like Arcadia, Debenhams, New Look, Peacocks and Sports Direct have cancelled £2.5bn in orders.
Thousands of workers in some of the poorest parts of Britain are being forced into a heartbreaking decision - go to work in conditions where they risk catching the deadly coronavirus, or stay home unable to put meals on the family table.
Know a woman with a great business idea trying to catch the eye of the investment world? Tell them to buckle up, because research suggests they are going to have a problem, writes Laura Miller. Of all the UK private equity investment in 2018, female-founded companies won just 2%, according to last year's British Business Bank's Equity Tracker.
Female entrepreneurs are stepping up in their hundreds of thousands, with many seeing self-employment as a source of flexible working that lets them balance working with family life. But in putting family first, many are sacrificing their future financial freedom.
Women's relationship to wealth needs a huge boost - or we risk half the world being left behind even as we make leaps forward in equality in other areas. What we are now beginning to see in areas such as mandatory reporting of gender pay gaps within companies, is that transparency is the key to unlocking truth, and the first step to change.
FTSE 100 CEOs are more likely to be called Steve than they are to be women, who account for 50% of the population - unlike men called Steve. The government has set targets for 33% of board members to be female by the end of 2020, and data released in July by the Hampton-Alexander Review shows the FTSE 350 could meet the target if current progress is maintained.
Turn on TV news market reports, flick to the financial commentary in the business pages, and more often than not those holding forth their views of the sector will be male. The lack of visibility of women in financial services generally, and investment management in particular, is a phenomenon those working in it are all too familiar with, although steps are being taken in the right direction.
Oil majors have slashed billions from their values of assets, indicating a move away from dirtier energies is nearer than we thought
It’s definitely not too late to begin pension saving at 35, 45, or even 55, but it does become trickier to build up a pot to sustain you in retirement, so you’ll have to pull out all the stops using the tips and tricks below.
Rigid retirement dates are a thing of the past for growing numbers of workers who are choosing to enter into new - and enjoyable - work patterns as they age.
Lockdown has revealed to many of us what a sudden cut to our income really feels like. Now may not seem like it, but this is exactly the right time to review your pension if you have one, and start one if you don't.
Financial experts may tell you you're mad! But wanting to help friends and family in times of trouble is a natural response - so should you give away money from your pension to help loved ones?
Everyone worries about money - some fear they won't have enough to last the month, while Bill and Melinda Gates became so concerned about using their enormous wealth for good, they have donated more than $36 billion to charitable causes. This relationship with money is linked to our feelings about the world.
You may have big plans for 2020. Pensions may be far down the list of fun things you want to do. But the start of a new year is a time for future planning. And that is what your pension is - an investment in your future.
Go-getting hustlers are experts at juggling multiple jobs, but the 4.8 million - and rising - self-employed in the UK are the least well-prepared for retirement, and risk being left dangerously exposed to poverty in later life.
Saving for retirement can seem daunting. No one has a crystal ball for the future, and everyone's idea of "enough" is different. But what if with a small change, you could double your pension pot?
CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE
Covid-19 is morphing from a national health crisis to a personal finance crisis for millions. Households' financial resilience - the ability to manage income shocks - is being tested by the second 'once in a lifetime' recession in 12 years. Financial plans are under pressure and in some cases are being ripped up and rebuilt.
GOOD WITH MONEY
The pension scheme intends to incorporate cyber risk into its investment strategy as an extension of its environmental, social and good governance (ESG) obligations. The World Economic Forum placed cyber attacks and data fraud or theft in the top 10 global risks for 2019.
Fund giant Aberdeen Standard Investments has branded its industry "asleep" to climate-based threats, and revealed it has moved £500m of its flagship Gars fund into renewables in the last six months. Climate change protests brought parts of London to a standstill this week as Extinction Rebellion group campaigners blocked roads and bridges in a bid to highlight the threats posed by global warming.
Eight million savers into Nest workplace pensions, the government auto-enrolment provider, will soon have some of their pots invested in socially responsible loans - funding wind farms to social housing - in plans to boost their retirement savings.
Female breadwinners have increased by a third since last year, according to research seen exclusively by Moneywise, as who earns the majority of the household income shifts between the sexes.
Millions of online shoppers are losing out to fraud while regulators drag their heels on introducing rules to protect them
Responding to the figures, an HMRC spokesperson says: "Nobody will overpay tax as a result of taking advantage of pension flexibility. "Individuals can claim back any overpayment due to an emergency tax code being applied immediately and we will repay this in 30 days.
The figures have been calculated by the Institute of Actuaries (IoA) to warn those who are only contributing the auto-enrolment minimum to their workplace pensions. This was increased to 8%, with at least 3% paid by the employer, in April, but experts say it is far from enough.
More than 2,000 taxpayers used Christmas Day to file their returns last year but HMRC has warned against leaving it to the final few weeks before the 31 January deadline
Moneywise approached Raffle House for comment. Mr Spencer says: "We're now less than 20,000 entrants away from our 60,000 ticket threshold and confident that we'll be awarding our current property in three months.
Graham MacLeod, financial planning director at wealth manager Tilney, says: "Such tinkering, while welcome, is unlikely to resolve the crisis without the scrapping of the tapered annual allowance. "The costs of addressing this will ultimately need to be offset against the tax receipts to the Treasury arising from these pension tax charges."
Customers will be given more information on the frequency of bank IT outages so they are better able to compare and choose a reliable provider
He said: "I took a view auto-enrolment wouldn't be in this Bill. We've had a double jump in minimum contribution increases and won't know the impact of that until December this year, and that will need to be analysed in great detail.Currently employees pay in 5% and their employer 3%.
Over-55s have never had more freedom in the way in which they can use their life savings. Changes to pension rules in 2015 mean that millions more investors have the option of keeping their pensions invested and drawing income from them, rather than exchanging them for a fixed income from annuities, which have been paying some of the worst rates since their inception.
DAILY TELEGRAPH IT'S YOUR MONEY PODCAST
If the property you want is popular you may find yourself in a bidding war with another buyer. There is no transparency in this bananas process; you end up throwing hard-saved money around like confetti on the word of an estate agent who has earns more commission the higher the price goes.
The Telegraph's personal finance podcast is back for a new series, and this time we're here to help you get through life's biggest money challenges, one step at a time.
Not everyone you meet in the world of finance is to be trusted with your money. Some will tempt you with too-good-to-be-true investments offering "guaranteed" and sky-high returns. Others will tell bare-faced lies, and trick you into sending vast sums to their own bank accounts.
But if you navigate the tax system well, and follow some smart advice, going self-employed can be incredibly lucrative. You could end up making a lot more cash running the show than when you were just a bit part player. Sam and Laura are on hand to guide you through the snakes and ladders of self-employment.
Are you suspicious your savings are propping up arms traders and tobacco firms but don't know how to make your money moral? Ethical finance doesn't need to be an oxymoron - it really is possible to invest in social issues close to your heart without losing your financial head.
Everyone's heard of Bitcoin, but what actually is a "cryptocurrency"? Will this digital money replace the cash in our pockets, and can you get rich quick by buying now - or is the boom already over?
Timing: Make a timetable - and stick to it Promotion: How it's not all about you Magic pay rise Everyone is getting a pay rise from April thanks to some tax changes announced in last year's Budget. The Chancellor increased how much you can earn each year before income tax is paid - the personal allowance.
What if the alarm you snoozed this morning could be switched off for good? We are all taught retirement happens in our 60s and 70s after decades of putting in the shifts at work. Wouldn't it be better if you could enjoy all that time off while you're young?
Love and money have a complicated relationship. In your teens, 20s and 30s, devising the perfect date is all important. Striking the balance between thoughtful and generous is a minefield and of course, there's the burning question of who pays...
2. Use the new breed of digital banks. Monzo, Revolut and Starling don't charge for withdrawing overseas (up to a point) and offer near perfect exchange rates. 3. Consider "skiplagging". This is a that allows people to find cheaper tickets by booking a flight with a stopover and not completing the full journey.
Be aware you can't insure the most important thing of all - that the love of your life will say yes. Some policies do have advance cancelation cover but it won't help you if you're left alone at the altar.
Then it's fixed at 9pc of everything you earn above that. So if you earn £26,000 in a year, you repay £90 (£26,000 is £1,000 above the threshold and 9pc of £1,000 is £90). If you earn £35,000, you repay £900 which is 9pc of the £10,000 above the threshold.
Death and taxes - two bits of life we can't escape... or can we? From The Panama Papers to your pension, tax dodging is everywhere. But with demand for expensive public services (paid for by tax) growing, is trying to scrimp on your share morally wrong?
DAILY AND SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Couples who have a large age gap between them are being warned of the dangers of assuming the older spouse will die first after a bereaved husband faced having his house repossessed following the death of his younger wife. Colin Bywater, an 83-year-old retired businessman, was heartbroken when his wife, Leonora, 20 years his junior, died suddenly from cancer last year.
Couples are being encouraged to break the taboo of discussing personal finances, as new research finds women are most likely to inherit stocks and shares but may lose out because they tend to be less experienced investors. Four out of 10 men intend to pass on investments, compared to just 27pc of women, according to analysis by Zurich, an insurer.
Law enforcement leaders are considering leaving the service at a rate of four in 10 in a dispute over pension tax rules, as they call on the Government to give them the same special treatment as NHS staff.
A fifth of retirees are raiding their pensions to help younger family members get on the housing ladder, even when it leaves them worried about affording their own retirement plans and working longer. Property lending by relatives - the so-called Bank of Mum and Dad - has risen by 10pc this year to £6.3bn, according to research by Legal & General, the insurer.
Calls for the state pension age to rise faster and higher - forcing new pensioners to wait until as late as 75 - have been branded an "outrage" by one former pensions minister. As those who have worked all their lives lose trust in the system they have paid into, Telegraph Money has devised a plan to bypass the benefit altogether.
Millions of middle-aged employees have no idea how much they need for a comfortable retirement or the amount they have saved so far, resulting in some people working longer than they want or trapping themselves in needless frugality. The findings come as families lose confidence in their finances.
Matt Tetlow, 32, a project manager, wants to turn his £30,000 savings pot into a income that would allow him to give up work in the next 15 years. He envisages a "modest lifestyle" will require a retirement salary of £20,000 a year.
A suggestion to raise the state pension age to as high as 75 has jumped to the top of political debate in a brief respite for Brexit. The proposal was put forward by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), labelled the "Tories' favourite think tank" - not least because it is chaired by Iain Duncan Smith, MP and former secretary of state for work and pensions under David Cameron.
Families who want to ensure children leave university without debt should start saving now as the cost could soar to £100,000 just by rising in line with inflation. High school students will find out their A-Level results today with many hoping for the grades needed to continue their studies.
The number of people claiming the state pension has fallen by 120,000 following increases in the age at which women and men can begin receiving the benefit, saving the government around £18.5m a week. The government predicted in 2011 that the policy would save the Treasury around £3bn a year.
Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) is reviewing all of its workplace pension records after a customer found it had mis-calculated his transfer by thousands of pounds. Kevin Slattery discovered the £7,000 error by LGIM, one of the largest providers of employee pension schemes, by chance when he downloaded the account transactions for his L&G Worksave Pension Plan.
Five million pension savers are at risk of losing their pots to scammers, who last year stole £14.7m, the City watchdog has warned. Last year victims lost an average of £82,000 each to pension scams, according to figures from Action Fraud. Now a new survey lays bare just how exposed savers are to fraudsters.
ATM-style pensions that allow over-55s to withdraw retirement money when they choose, while keeping the rest invested and growing, were a central selling point of the 2015 freedoms. But cash on demand comes at a cost - unless you know what you are doing.
The number of young people going bankrupt has increased 10-fold in three years as rising self-employment and the "temptation" of easily-obtainable credit cards have pushed Generation Z into debt. Almost 2,000 18-to-25 year olds entered a formal insolvency procedure between April and June this year, compared to 208 at the beginning of 2016.
Pension savers are facing retiring with thousands of pounds less because of high charges, according to City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as it moves to force companies to be clearer about their fees. Some are paying costs as high as 2pc a year on their personal pensions, when charges for employees enrolled in workplace schemes are less than half that.
Consumers are being wrongly advised to move billions of pounds out of gold-plated "final salary" pensions, according to City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as it launches a crackdown to stem the tide. FCA research found that seven out of 10 of consumers receiving advice are told to transfer, which it called "worryingly high".
Millions of couples who have lived together for years while remaining unmarried could win better financial security after a recent court case found a woman was entitled to death benefits upon her partner's death - even though she was still married to another man.
Sajid Javid has been appointed as chancellor, replacing Remainer "Spreadsheet" Philip Hammond. How will his Treasury treat the money in our pockets? When he became prime minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to make his cabinet more diverse than some of his predecessors.
Mothers who go part-time to avoid childcare costs stand to lose around £260,000 in earnings, exclusive analysis for Telegraph Money reveals. The Government is overhauling shared parental leave in a bid to reexamine how it supports women to return to the workplace after having children as it emerges mothers are paying a huge price to avoid high childcare costs.
Britain's "final salary" pension transfer boom is far from over, as new figures reveal savers pulled their money from twice as many pensions in the last financial year. More than 200,000 pension transfers occurred in 2018-19, up from 100,000 the year before.
Boris Johnson has fought off stiff competition from a crowded field of candidates to take the Tory leadership prize and become the new prime minister. But who will be better off under Boris? Mr Johnson's proposals have garnered some controversy throughout the campaign, and have included some party-pleasing fiscal policies that could now become reality after his election to the top job.
Mothers are also missing out on valuable pension contributions up to £250,000, as a result of time out of the workplace or because they are juggling self-employment with raising children. On the proposed reforms for neonatal care, the Prime Minister Theresa May said income for every week a child is in hospital would help the parents of the estimated 100,000 babies admitted every year.
Pension rules branded "the most complex ever" are damaging Britain's essential public services - from the NHS to fire units and the judiciary - amid calls from across the political spectrum for wholesale reform.
Cuts to how much savers can put away for retirement mean one in 10 NHS doctors are considering leaving the health service to avoid tax bills that make taking on extra shifts far less attractive. Earlier today it was revealed waiting lists have soared 50pc in three months as a result.
HM Revenue & Customs is sending out letters to tens of thousands of individuals with overseas investments and bank accounts - even if they do not owe any tax - which if signed could mean higher penalties as part of future investigations.
The Government plans to tackle the causes of financial inequality in later life by intervening at points where women are likely to face disadvantage from school to employment, divorce and retirement. It will target inequalities in the labour market that lead to women to retire, on average, with pension savings up to 40pc lower.
Live fast, die young is a cheap (if not terribly attractive) retirement plan. Far better, if you can afford it, is to retire early, while still very much alive to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Would you like to spend your later years cruising the Mediterranean, basking on a sun lounger atop a seaside terrace or enjoying slow days writing a best-selling novel?
Millions of public sector workers are in line for a £4bn a year increase to their pensions, after the Government lost a landmark age discrimination case. The Supreme Court has denied an application by the Treasury to fight a ruling from December that it discriminated against younger workers when it changed public sector pensions four years ago.
Hundreds of thousands of taxpayers have received incorrect tax returns showing an error in their capital gains allowance. HMRC confirmed it issued almost 350,000 short tax returns - a simpler version than the full annual self-assessment form - with a capital gains tax (CGT) exemption £400 less than it should have been.
Investors who are pursuing their pension provider for compensation could get smaller payouts following its failure, six months after the firm's director was paid a dividend of £1m. GPC, a self invested personal pension (Sipp) formerly known as Guardian Pension Consultants, was declared insolvent and closed this month under the weight of 141 court claims. An additional 300 complaints are currently lodged with the Financial Ombudsman Service (Fos) from unhappy investors.
The family of a celebrated musician have spoken of their anguish at having to fight his insurer after his life-altering stroke, branding its refusal to pay out "unethical". Mark Wardell, 50, was an organist at Chichester Cathedral for 12 years before becoming director of music at Barrow Hill, a prep school in Surrey.
Thousands of pension investors trapped in suspended funds are having the life sucked from their remaining savings by fees of around £30m a year. Experts estimate that risky investments promising high returns would have attracted 40,000 DIY investors, who backed them via self-invested personal pensions (Sipps) only for their nest eggs to disappear when the schemes failed.
Over-55s are transferring out of their "final salary" pensions at a rate of 100,000 a year in an exodus City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has branded "deeply concerning" as it seeks to halt the tide.
Slick salesmen who promise high returns in offbeat schemes are paid so much that the investments have virtually no chance of success. Yet pensioners are allowed to back them, even as an eighth firm has collapsed for permitting the practice.
Hargreaves Lansdown, Britain's biggest fund shop, will review its hugely influential best-buy lists, after investors who followed its recommendations became trapped in Neil Woodford's suspended Equity Income fund. Last week, time finally ran out for Mr Woodford, Britain's most high-profile fund manager, as he was forced to halt dealing in his flagship fund.
Refunds have also been paid to families where the liability to HICBC arose in the tax years 2013 to 2016 as a result of starting a relationship with a new partner. HMRC said: "All customers entitled to a refund will now have received one and do not need to contact [us]."
he Government has agreed to reform the NHS pension scheme following revelations by the Telegraph that up to one in 10 doctors could quit under the current system and plunge the health service into crisis. But senior medical staff say the plan is "doomed to fail".
Millions of people have their pension invested in ready-made funds run by some of the biggest names in British finance that, if left unchecked, risk leaving them hundreds of thousands of pounds worse off in retirement. Hargreaves Lansdown, Standard Life, Now: Pensions, Royal London and Aviva - which manage "default" employee pensions at companies up and down the country - rank among the worst.
Showdowns with the taxman could become much more common after a pensioner's court battle over a 55pc charge on his savings has ended with HM Revenue & Customs admitting defeat. Telegraph Money can reveal the taxman will not appeal a ruling in December that found Gary Hymanson made an honest mistake when he breached rules governing how much an individual can save into a pension.
Travellers seeking a bargain room on online rentals service Airbnb are facing an onslaught of rogue listings from a "subscription service for scammers", which lets fraudsters juggle 500 fake ads and 100 unsuspecting victims with ease. Holidaymakers are attractive targets, with victims losing an average of £1,400 each to scams last year, according to reporting centre Action Fraud.
Insurers have been accused of double standards in treating customers with mental health conditions by setting the bar low to refuse claims and high to pay out. Telegraph Money has previously reported how seeing a therapist after a parent's death can be enough for an insurer to reject an application for critical illness cover, as firms argue that this makes an individual at higher risk of anything from obesity to alcoholism.
A DJ and former show jumper had a critical illness insurance claim for breast cancer rejected because an insurer used Google to diagnose her with completely different conditions. Bianca Eglington, 42, renowned in techno clubs as Lady Bianca during the 2000s, was forced into a Catch-22 situation with Legal & General (L&G) when its claims assessor said she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and diabetes after looking up her medications online.
Stay-at-home dads can leave their families thousands of pounds worse off because of flaws in policies meant to free working mothers from the nursery. Half a million men became fathers last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Savers who lost gold-plated pensions worth hundreds of thousands of pounds at the hands of a rogue financial adviser have received only a fraction back in compensation. They have lost a total of £2.2m between them - around £137,500 each - but the industry life raft has paid them the maximum allowed, just £50,000 per person.
The NHS could lose 10pc of its doctors in a dispute over pension tax bills, creating an "absolute crisis" that leaves it struggling to care for patients as the number of junior replacements falls. Older doctors have been keeping the health service going, according to NHS recruitment data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, seen exclusively by Telegraph Money.
Pension freedoms have liberated millions of savers once forced to take whatever payouts they were given by retirement firms. But four years on, fears that people would blow all their savings on Lamborghinis are being replaced by calls to stop the wave of over-55s who swap lucrative investments for bank accounts that pay next to nothing.
Thirty years ago, investors were freed to become fund managers of their own retirement pots with the launch of the self-invested personal pension (Sipp). Taking an individual approach triggered market-beating returns for some, but cost others everything. Up to a million Britons have poured £300bn into Sipps since Nigel Lawson, the Conservative chancellor at the time, changed the rules in 1989.
Savers languishing in dismal with-profits funds could make a return up to 223pc higher by moving their money into a managed portfolio, even if they had to pay an exit fee to leave. Millions of customers who bought investment bonds, endowments, insurance and pensions in the Nineties ended up invested in insurers' with-profits funds.
Entrepreneurial mothers are increasingly launching businesses as a solution to the problem of balancing work with childcare. But they risk a "pregnancy penalty" of almost 300pc - which could mean losing out on as much as £247,000 at retirement as family and firm get put first.
Two hundred thousand oblivious savers are too late to avoid pension tax bills of up to 55pc, and at least a million more are sleepwalking into the same problem. Telegraph Money has previously reported that front-line health, police, fire service and Armed Forces personnel are for the first time being penalised by lifetime limits on pension savings after successive governments cut the allowance from £1.8m to £1.03m.
Three million opposite-sex couples who live together, and many more who live apart, will be able to enjoy the financial benefits of marriage without getting wed by the end of the year, after a bill extending civil partnerships passed today.
Pity me in the wake of International Women's Day 2019, dogged by ignorant men. Senior doctors, CEOs, a boyfriend with degrees from Cambridge and Oxford (almost, do PhDs ever end?). Dullards all. At least in one area - their pensions. Regularly I hear they swapped a gold-plated final salary plan for an African "truffle farm".
Tighter limits on pension savings "pose a direct threat to patient care" according to Britain's most senior medical staff, who have called on MPs to intervene to avoid a feared 40pc drop in hospital specialists. Consultants are receiving sudden tax bills of as much as £100,000 or effective rates of 100pc.
A thousand entrepreneurs who relied on a "crude" tax avoidance scheme are suing their accountants after being handed bills by HM Revenue & Customs for around £500,000 each. The six-figure sums are part of a far-reaching crackdown on "disguised remuneration" tax avoidance. Campaigners are in a bitter fight with HMRC over the rules.
Around 100,000 people face being landed with gargantuan tax bills following a landmark court battle lost by Lloyds Banking Group, Telegraph Money can reveal. British companies are being forced to adjust the pensions of current and former staff as a result of the judgment, which ordered Lloyds to comply with regulations to equalise payments between men and women.
Pensioners are now three times more likely to be preyed on by a rogue financial adviser, often first encountered online, rather than a cold calling phone scammer, according to the first attempt to gather real-life data on the risks to over 55s, seen exclusively by Telegraph Money.
Savers are losing their life savings to scammers, in some cases their entire £1m pension pots, under the watch of just 10 dedicated staff at the City watchdog. Senior staff at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) made the admission today in front of MPs on the work and pensions select committee who had asked what protections pensioners can expect from an onslaught of fraudsters.
Savers' pension pots invested in well-known shares and high-quality bonds would be moved into riskier start-up firms and hard to trade assets under government plans to boost economic growth.
Savers hobbled by a decade of rock-bottom interest rates and stagnant wages are constantly told to dig deep and put more into their pensions. But one simple trick can add thousands to your pot without costing you a penny. The secret lies in something almost all employees already have: a work pension.
Higher earners hit by tightening pension rules are increasingly retiring early to avoid hefty tax charges. New analysis suggests it is still worth saving into a pension - even where you exceed the limits. Pension tax traditionally focuses the minds of few politicians outside the Treasury.
Investors thought to be among victims of a £9m truffle farm scam have revealed their anguish at losing their life savings, as experts call for watchdogs to close loopholes exploited by rogue financial firms. Savers thought they were investing their pension money in oak and hazel tree saplings inoculated with truffle spores, planted in Spain and South Africa.
Socially-minded savers are being promised they can rescue local landmarks and businesses thanks to government support for innovative community investment vehicles to spruce up Britain. But not all the would-be white knights running these schemes are successful. After the fanfare, some investors have found the only communal part is losses.
Hundreds of thousands of parents may be losing out on future state pension payments because they have not registered for child benefit, according to new figures from HMRC, which lays bare the extent of a problem reported by Telegraph Money two years ago.
Have you suffered shoddy service from a financial company? Don't expect fast justice: your complaint is probably among 30,000 stuck in a backlog at the Financial Ombudsman (Fos) while it takes 10 times longer than usual to decide your fate.
She added: "I don't think I've ever met anyone who has done a trip like this and regretted it. Things didn't always go exactly to plan but we had an amazing time as a family and grew closer.
Thousands more high earners are being caught out by tricky pension rules that trigger payments to the taxman now in exchange for relief on money tied up until they retire. The average size of these tax payments is £30,000.
More investors are being caught out by the wave of pension provider collapses, with customers being charged in advance for services they cannot use and fighting to access their savings. More than a million savers invest using self-invested personal pensions (Sipps).
Every year workers choose not to pay into a "final salary" pension can cost them nine times more than they save, new analysis has revealed amid an exodus from some gold-plated schemes. NHS workers are abandoning their generous gold-plated pensions in droves, for example, with a quarter of a million opting out since 2015.
Christmas Day brings weeks of spending to an end, making way for a healthier approach to household finances in the new year by British buyers increasingly willing to use their money in socially-conscious ways. Telegraph Money's ever divisive Moral Money dilemmas reveal readers' attempts to "do the right thing" financially.
Eating in your car and washing clothes at your parents' house can prove a false economy when trying to avoid paying capital gains tax (CGT) on a second property, lawyers have warned homeowners with multiple residences.
Bereaved partners whose loved ones paid into a final salary pension but forgot to inform their employer of the relationship, are missing out on thousands of pounds due after a landmark equality law ruling last year.
An insurance customer with multiple sclerosis (MS) who had his policy voided by Legal and General despite being covered has won the right to his £300,000 payout. L&G has also agreed to review the "catch-all" wording of its application forms used to deny the claim after the issue was raised by this newspaper.
Yet FCA research suggested that half of 45-65 year-olds with a pension do not think they are likely be targeted by a pension scam, of which 21pc said this because they believe they are too savvy to be conned. Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and the chance of anyone getting their money back is extremely low.
Hundreds of expats who retired to Spain to enjoy their later years are instead fighting for payouts from a British firm they say badly let them down. Some 750 retirees are bringing a legal claim for around £75m against Old Mutual International (OMI), part of British-based wealth manager Quilter, on the grounds that it should not have sold them insurance bonds invested in risky derivatives.
Judges are becoming tougher in their division of marital assets and older faces are filling up divorce courts: two tectonic shifts for which couples need to prepare, lawyers have warned. Married individuals born since 1960 are almost as likely to divorce as get cancer: the figures are 42pc and 50pc respectively.
Freedoms that give pension savers access to their entire nest egg from the age of 55 have created a huge tax windfall for the Government. Fund shop AJ Bell puts HMRC's take at an astonishing £5.5bn since the introduction of the pension freedoms in 2015.
"But we've also made sure our day-to-day expenses once the mortgages are paid off will be very low at less than £15,000 a year, which should be covered by income from our investments." Lisa Davies, an independent financial adviser at Suttons, said the couple were benefiting now from earlier prudence, although this was becoming harder to replicate.
Freedoms enjoyed by investors since the Nineties are being limited and made more expensive by watchdogs rushing to stem a wave of investment losses. Up to a million Britons with self-invested personal pensions (Sipps) will be affected by a recent court ruling and related changes at the City regulator and the Financial Ombudsman Service that will put pension providers on the hook for customers' investments.
Savers who were wrongly helped to invest their pensions in risky schemes and lost out, have been given the green light to chase their pension company for the losses. In 2014, the Financial Ombudsman (Fos) found Berkeley Burke, a self-invested personal pension (Sipp) provider, liable for an investor's losses, on the grounds it failed to carry out enough due diligence on a scheme into which he put his pension.
Savers will finally have greater legal protection from companies trying to scam them out of their pension, after the Government today revealed it is writing into law a long-awaited cold calling ban. Documents released today as part of the Chancellor's Budget include draft rules to ban pensions-related cold calling, which the Government will put before Parliament this autumn, and bring into force "as soon as possible thereafter".
The state pension age for women will rise on Nov 6 to at least 65, the same as it is for men, in a move known as equalisation. From then, men and women's state pension age will rise in line. Individual circumstances will vary, as per the Government's timetable here.
Millions of pensioners are in line for up to thousands of pounds in extra payments after a court ruling today that overturns decades of retirement unfairness. The High Court has ruled the Lloyds Bank pension was wrong to pay some of its final salary scheme members less than others, resolving a dispute about pensions equality dating back to the Nineties.
Going it alone with your pension is not to be taken lightly at any point in life. However, as the two investors featured below show, with care, the results can be impressive. Rebecca O'Keeffe, of fund shop Interactive Investor, encouraged older investors to look around at the range of new options that could enhance returns.
Three men wait at the bar. One is so drunk he can barely stand, but he's propped up by his friend, who in turn leans on the third man, who is sober. Staff are told not to serve drunks but the barman can't tell who to cut off because the three are holding each other upright.
However, for consumers who refer complaints to the ombudsman service before 1 April 2019 the limit will remain at £150,000. Generally, consumers can bring a complaint to the Fos within six years of the event they are complaining about (or, if later than this, within three years from when they could reasonably have known they had cause to complain).
NHS workers are abandoning their generous gold-plated pensions in droves, with a quarter of a million opting out since 2015, according to new data laying bare the extent of problems first revealed by Telegraph Money.
On Monday it will be 10 years since the Government felt forced to part-nationalise Britain's collapsing banks and rescue the financial system at an initial cost to taxpayers of £400bn. The Bank of England cut the official interest rate six times over the next few months to keep the economy moving.
Insurers promise to look after you and your family if you get sick but, in reality, can be working hard behind the scenes to refuse payouts when you need them most. Evidence seen by Telegraph Money shows that some insurance firms scour your medical records for signs of conditions to which you were oblivious, in order to decline your claim.
Public servants across Britain are revolting against pension rules they say punch holes in front-line health, justice and emergency services in a bid to get the Chancellor to improve rather than cut tax relief in next month's Budget.
Receiving counselling after the untimely death of a parent is enough to trigger a "crude" tactic by insurers that affects half a million people who try to protect their families financially. NHS contractor Melanie Hoskin, 41, is among the 12.5 million adults - one in four - who have a mental health problem each year in Britain.
"Charlotte was losing a lot of blood. We waited, not knowing if she had died." It had begun as a dream trip to the United Arab Emirates before the birth of her first child.
Patients are suffering longer waiting times due to perverse tax rules that mean NHS consultants refuse overtime, it has been claimed. Dr John Miller, a consultant who has worked for the NHS in the UK, abroad, and in the military, said his peers in their mid-40s and older have recently given up doing extra clinics, dropped patient sessions and refused overtime, due to changes to annual pension contribution limits.
Fears of cuts to higher-rate pension tax relief in the Budget have been replaced by concern that two other sweeteners will be curtailed, costing pensioners up to £90,000. Speculation that the Government will cut the tax relief that higher earners can claim on pension contributions has been branded "complete nonsense" by people familiar with the matter.
Thousands of investors who make regular contributions into their shares portfolio have been left languishing in cash and missing out on months of returns after falling foul of European rules introduced at the start of the year, Telegraph Money can reveal.
Pensioners who lost their life savings after a property investment failed are being chased for more money to manage their worthless "zombie" pensions. At least 150 self-invested personal pension (Sipp) savers have received fee demands from Hartley Pensions, their Sipp provider, for "day to day administration", despite being locked in a failed overseas development - Harlequin Property - which is untradeable and was deemed worthless by the industry compensation scheme in 2015.
Hundreds of Aviva customers who had their pensions underpaid for years are receiving cut-price compensation at a fraction of what the industry referee says is fair. Around 500 pensioners with guaranteed annuities, popular in the Eighties and Nineties, have been short-changed by successive pension companies that failed to spot problems for years while customers were passed from firm to firm.
Millions of pounds have been kept from scammers by pension firms blocking transfer requests, according to the companies, as they tread the fine line between consumer protection and keeping you from accessing your life savings.
Children can be cruel - especially your own. "My kids called it a mid-life crisis," said 53-year-old Michael Green, recalling the time he told his family he was swapping corporate life for cake stands. "It was either a café or a Harley Davidson!"
"Rip off" phone bills for worried friends and family calling relatives recovering in hospital are set to become a thing of the past under an Ofcom crackdown. The telecoms regulator will for the first time start to regulate the cost of 070 numbers, which currently hit consumers making 2.6 million calls a year with charges of around 50p a minute.
Thousands of savers who followed the instructions of two unlicensed pension companies are in with a chance of getting back any losses, as the financial watchdog has revealed it is pursuing the firms over £86m of pension transfers.
The amount of money that pensioners have lost through scams has more than doubled in a year, with the average victim handing £91,000 to fraudsters. Highly sophisticated scammers are luring more people into transferring their pensions into fraudulent schemes. Last year, pensioners reported being conned out of £23m, up from £9.2m the year before.
Savers into a modern workplace pension will be tens of thousands of pounds worse off in later life because employers have dramatically cut what they contribute. Figures provided exclusively to Telegraph Money by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) reveal how much less employers pay into staff pension schemes today compared to in the past.
British pension savers' plans to pass on their hard-earned money to their children are being derailed by sky high charges for services they will never use.
Central to his concerns was the platforms were not carrying out enough research into the ability of borrowers to pay back the loans investors were supporting.
Higher earners could see their retirement fund fall by tens of thousands of pounds - and lower earners see theirs rise by similar - under proposals to level the pension tax playing field that were called for by MPs this week.
Experts have warned that British households are sleepwalking towards financial danger as debt levels hit record highs ahead of next week's interest rate decision from the Bank of England. Many market watchers expect an August rate rise, which would make it more expensive to service Britain's record borrowing levels.
Fraudsters are mining social media in increasingly sophisticated ways to get their hands on your pension, as the Government delays bringing in a ban on the tactic most often used by scammers to steal your money.
Heavily indebted students graduating this summer may feel pressure to sacrifice more of their wage than is necessary to get back into the black, but experts warn that this money would do more if put in a pension.