A statement by the government minister in charge of pensions was interpreted by many, including the Financial Times, as signalling there would be no major changes to pension tax relief in the next few years. 

Reforms to the tax relief system had been considered by the previous Conservative government but such a major upheaval now looks very unlikely.

Let’s all go to uni

There has been a rise in the amount of student housing  owned by private landlords, says the Financial Times. Southampton, Leicester, Liverpool, Exeter, Brighton and Hove are among the cities that have seen the largest increases. Letting agents say one reason is the higher yields available on student lets, though costs of management are also typically higher.

The cost of education

Parents in the UK who pay for private education for a child at primary, secondary and tertiary levels spend on average £128,600, says the Financial Times, citing research by HSBC. That is ten times the average cost of state-funded education and is second only to average spending in Hong Kong out of the 15 countries in which it conducted its research. A quarter of parents wish they had saved more, but  only Chinese parents seem to be good at planning ahead, with most parents still paying the bulk of costs out of current income.

Fewer divorces, but more silver ones

The number of divorces fell by 9 per cent in 2015, in line with a long-term trend. But the average age of divorcees keeps rising, as it has done since 1985  – it is now 45 for men and 44 for women, reports the Financial Times. The result is more complex financial settlements, say lawyers. Older people have more assets and more pension rights, which are themselves increasingly valuable – for example, a £30,000 a year pension entitlement is worth over £1 million. The home, say lawyers, may not be the biggest asset that has to be divided.

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