Wednesday, 2 April 2014

How to choose a pension scheme

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Key points

  • If you don’t have a pension scheme that you can use for automatic enrolment, you will need to choose a new one.
  • If you already have a pension scheme that you want to use for automatic enrolment, you need to check that you can use it.
  • Your scheme must meet certain criteria and should be good quality.

If you don't have a pension scheme

If you don’t have a scheme, or you can’t use (or don’t want to use) your existing scheme, you must choose a new one.
Most employers are likely to use a defined contribution (DC) scheme for automatic enrolment. The most suitable DC scheme is likely to be a large scheme run by a specialist pension provider such as a group personal pension or master trust.
You should speak to scheme providers or a pension adviser.
You may be approached with offers to open a new trust-based scheme. This would involve your organisation providing a board of trustees to run the scheme and therefore would involve more cost, time and work for you as the employer.
Most employers will find that it is not cost-effective to set up this type of scheme unless it has at least 1,000 people saving in it.

If you have a pension scheme

You may already have a pension scheme, which you probably know as a stakeholder scheme, group personal pension or trust-based scheme.
If you want to continue using your scheme for existing members, you need to check that it meets certain qualifying criteria. If you also want to use your scheme to automatically enrol new members, it will need to meet some additional criteria.
You should also check that the scheme is good quality, for example it provides value for money and protects your staff’s savings. Contact your provider or trustees to check whether you can continue to use your scheme.
If your provider or trustees can’t demonstrate that the scheme meets the criteria and is good quality, you may be able to adapt it. You should also consider whether it would be better to choose a new scheme.

Reviewing the quality of a new or existing scheme

You should ask the provider or trustees whether the scheme includes our DC quality features. We’ve developed the DC quality features as a way for trustees and providers to assess whether their scheme is likely to deliver good retirement outcomes for members.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Want To Save Money? Here Are 6 Tips To Make Your Wallet A Little Thicker!

Your money problems can involve significant debt or minor cash flow issues. No matter your financial situation there is one thing that all of us would like to do, save a little money each month.
Especially since expenses can add up fast and take a toll on your finances. These cost saving tips are significant enough that they can help some prevent bankruptcy. If you have a little extra money each month you can spend it on paying down other debts faster.
Use these tips to help grow your bank account:
1. Change the way you watch TV - Gone are the days where a family rushes into the TV room to sit on the couch together and watch a favorite program. Today's busy families need more flexibility than that. More families than ever before are watching programs after the original air date. Your favorite programs can also be watched on the internet after the first air date. This means that if you're patient you can see all of your programs without paying for cable. Quitting cable and relying on the internet to catch your favorite programs can offer monthly savings as high as $100.
2. Drop a phone line - Does anyone call your home phone other than telemarketers? With the increase of cell phones it is unlikely that you need to have a house phone any longer. Paying monthly for two phone lines is just silly. Decide which phone line you can't live without, cell phone or landline. Cancel the home phone and you can save $40 each month and more if you have to pay for your long distance calls.
3. Live with your extended family - Making the change to share a home with your parents, in-laws, grandparents, or other relatives can help save big money each month. The decision to co-habitate by itself can prevent bankruptcy. Not to mention that living with family is fun and you can share all housing costs including:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Cars
  • Cable and phone

You will also be able to share household chores and maintenance projects and costs with your family.
4. Update your home loan - Interests rates are still very low. If you plan to stay in your home for a while longer and you have some equity in your home despite the real estate crash, then it's time to refinance. Depending on your current interest rate, refinancing can lower your monthly mortgage rate significantly.
5. Change the oil in your car less often - Guidelines are given about car maintenance. It is important to take good care of your vehicle but it's recently been found that you can go a little farther between oil changes. If your car is relatively new and in good condition, then you should be able to go 7,000 miles between oil changes.
6. Make a list before you shop - A great way to cut down on unnecessary spending is to plan our your shopping trips. Making a detailed list and taking inventory of what you need before you shop can save you big money and prevent food waste.
These cost cutting tips can help anyone save a little extra money each month. They can also help you prevent bankruptcy by lowering your monthly expenditures. Take this advice and start saving today!
The Chicago bankruptcy lawyers of Chang & Carlin specialize in chapter 7 & chapter 13 bankruptcy, real estate and foreclosure law services as well as tax and IRS legal issues. Learn more about these services and request a free consultation today: