The big question is will workers stand for a tripling in pension deductions from wage packets, or rebel against auto-enrolment increases? – (Auto-enrolment).
Millions of workers auto-enrolled into pensions will see deductions from wages triple in April. In 2012 levels were set at 2 per cent of banded earnings, split between employer and employee.
Next week, that will rise to 5 per cent, with employers typically paying in 2 per cent and employees 3 per cent. It will be a huge test for this so far successful experiment into ‘nudging’ workers to provide for their own retirement. Though this kind of hit to monthly income could well overcome people’s natural inertia and cause a spike in opt-outs, media coverage has possibly been a touch too focussed on the possible negatives (opt-out rates, affordability issues, pay rises not keeping up with inflation and so on). These are all important considerations, but such messages should not drown out the significant positives (Auto-enrolment).
International Women’s day good for SMEs’ moods
The UK’s small businesses were markedly chipper around International Women’s day. Interesting data from the Daily Telegraph Business Tracker (which analysed 40,000 tweets sent by 25,000 UK firms and business people between Feb 21st and March 26th) analysed the sentiment in social media posts by small businesses: 21 percent of their Twitter posts contained positive sentiment, while 4 percent were negative. If we remove the three quarters of messages that were neutral (i.e. those without any opinion or sentiment attached, such as sales offers), it means that 84 percent of small business Twitter chatter over the four-and-a-half-week period was positive.
BTL – the secret of success
Warning signs ahead for landlords. A new study from Savills shows that landlords have profited significantly in the decade since the financial crash, but that a raft of taxation reforms are starting to push them away from an increasingly bleak buy-to-let market. And there’s a big gap between the best and worst performing BTL investors when we factor in analysis from Countrywide, which highlights that, when it comes to overall returns, buying well matters much more than letting well – the difference in rental income between a landlord in the top-yielding 30 per cent of properties in a neighbourhood and the lowest 30 per cent was just £20 a month; but there was a gap of £41,000 between what the two groups paid on average for the home.
Financial Advice Including Pension Advice, Bristol
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