James Coney  

There is no such thing as free pensions advice

James Coney

James Coney

It would not be fair for advice companies to bear the brunt of increased scrutiny without greater evidence of what actually has happened since 2015.

Whoever the permanent boss of the FCA is, he or she should make a full assessment of the pension freedoms one of their top priorities.

Financial funnies

Things that would be funny if they weren’t so sad. Number 1: The damning report into the failures of Action Fraud that revealed its website mis-spelled its own name ‘Action Fruad’. The organisation did not change it because of worries about the admin costs.

Number 2: the FCA being fined £2,000 by the Pensions Regulator for failures in its pension scheme. 

Presumably next up is will be the news that the head of HM Revenue & Customs has failed to pay his tax on time, or that the chief executive of a bank has taken out a mortgage until he was 120 years old.

Sometimes though, the real news is better than any fake news.

The taxman cometh

I wrote about tax, saying what a mess I thought our system was.

Three days later and a note arrives from my company payroll department. “There’s been a significant change to your tax code,” it warned.

So now I have to dig out some paperwork and, worse, try to call HMRC, at its busiest time of year. It’s enough to make you believe in conspiracy theories.

James Coney is money editor ofThe Times and The Sunday Times@