Millions of savers have no idea whether the fund in which their pension funds are invested is any good, says the Times, citing recent research. This showed that many insurers are among those whose funds are in the doghouse, having earned consistently poor returns. 

The difference between the dogs and better funds is equivalent to tens of thousands of pounds at retirement.

New rules to hit BTL

New rules due to be introduced by the Bank of England at the end of September could make it harder for Buy-To-Let owners to obtain mortgages, says the Telegraph. The rules will require lenders to assess the viability of the whole portfolio if someone owns more than four properties (pension funds). The change comes on top of restrictions to BTL owners’ ability to claim tax relief on mortgage interest, and there is also uncertainty about how lenders will interpret and apply the rules, so brokers are urging owners to refinance before they take effect.

Regulator fails fund investors

The Times is one of several newspapers to criticise the Financial Conduct Authority for not being tougher on fund managers. The FCA’s report into the sector followed a highly critical interim report last year, but  the final report proposes no actual measures to reduce fund costs or to introduce what even many fund bosses think is a good idea, a single all-in annual charge that would enable investors to make like-for-like comparisons across the industry. Some blame the FCA’s timidity on heavyweight lobbying by fund management groups.

Motoring with a black box

There has been a sharp rise in the number of young drivers using telematics – black boxes fitted to their cars – to cut the cost of car insurance. The Mail cited the case of two 19-year-old sisters who got cover for their small car for £1,600 with telematics after being quoted premiums of up to £7,000 by other insurers. The Mail journalist who tried the black box found it slightly disconcerting – it constantly measures your speed – but confessed that it would probably improve her driving.

Keep on borrowing

The number of mortgage borrowers aged over 70 has soared by 75% in the past five years, says the Mail. Many have obtained new loans because their existing mortgage lender won’t extend the repayment term of their current loan.

Three quarters of graduates will never repay their loans

Analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies shows that three-quarters of students will never repay their student loans, reports the Financial Times. One reason is the very high interest rates applied to student loans (RPI plus 3 per cent), which mean the average graduate accrues as much as £5,800 in interest even before they graduate. The result of high interest rates is that the debt rises too fast for repayments to keep pace. Taking into account the write-off of loans that aren’t repaid adds £5 billion to the bill paid by the government – about half the cost of abolishing tuition fees entirely as proposed by the Labour Party.

Pension Funds & Financial Advice Bristol

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