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The approaching changes to pension legislation will create both opportunity and possible confusion. This year, the Chancellor has proposed some surprising, but very welcome, changes to the rules on how pension benefits can be accessed. The changes being lined up have been largely well-received, but those eligible to take advantage of the new rules may be confused by the number of choices available. There are two big changes. The first one relates to the way people can take benefits at retirement and means that people will be able to take the whole of their fund as one lump sum if they choose. The other change is to do with the way pension benefits are taxed on death.
The Health and Safety Executive has recently updated legislation regarding the control of Legionnaires’ disease. For the first time, landlords of residential accommodation now have responsibilities for combating the spread of this potentially fatal illness.
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The party conference season is out of the way and politicians of all persuasions are now gearing up for next year’s general election with a raft of incentives and proposals to appeal to Britain’s long-suffering savers and taxpayers. From new rules for Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) to increased flexibility for pensions and the traditional pre-election battleground of Inheritance Tax (IHT).
At the time of writing, property prices are up 12% over the last 12 months, according to the ONS House Price Index. Data released by Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), shows that homeowners have greatly benefited from improving housing equity, with those seeking to remortgage having 26% more equity when compared to 12 months ago. Remortgage applications also rose by 17% since September, suggesting equity gains are prompting more homeowners to seek a better mortgage deal.

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