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Cridland and tax-free cash: the week in news

Cridland and tax-free cash: the week in news

Unfortunately the clocks go forward this weekend, so we’ve got one hour less to ready the week in news. We had better get on with it then.

1) Cridland of hope and glory

All that work and all that expectation, and John Cridland’s review of the state pension age received a decidedly lukewarm reception.

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His main recommendation was to raise the state pension age to 68 between 2037 and 2039.

After that, he recommended allowing it to increase in line with longevity expectations, but by no more than one year every decade.

That would mean the state pension age could reach 70 by as early as 2057 - affecting anyone born after 1987.

He also recommended scrapping the so-called triple lock on the state pension, which was welcomed by some, but others were sceptical.

Meanwhile the Trades Union Congress said his recommendations would hit the poor and the sick hardest.

2) RBS to the future

Nobody can accuse the Royal Bank of Scotland of failing to embrace technology.

This week the bank announced that it expects to be in a position to make a decision on the roll-out of robo-advice for mortgages by the end of the third quarter of 2017.

RBS is currently trialling the technology, which could help it to cut costs as it strives to regain profitability amid the ongoing fall-out from the financial crisis.

But because of the increasing use of technology, the bank also announced that it would be closing 150 branches.

RBS said its branches were increasingly becoming “centres for advice” as people turned to online banking.

3) Cheque please

If advisers ever worry about paying large amount of money to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, at least they can relax knowing it is being put to good use.

This week the FSCS revealed it had paid out more than £3m in relation to a financial advice firm which faced complaints about transfers into self-invested personal pensions.

A spokesman for the FSCS said that since Blueinfinitas went into default it has paid out more than £3m against 166 claims.

The company, which was based in Weston-super-Mare, was declared in default in December 2015 and is currently in liquidation.

4) Advisers say recycling is rubbish

The recycling of tax-free cash has been debated by advisers this week, with some saying it can save a client tens of thousands of pounds and others saying they were “very nervous” about it.

Ruban Sanmuganathan, a chartered financial planner with Plutus Wealth Management said many advisers are unaware their clients can take money out of their pension and put it back in to claim the tax relief.

He said it was a “no brainer” but some advisers said it would be against the spirit of the law and leave them open to punitive action by HM Revenue & Customs.

Kim Barrett, an adviser at Barretts Financial Solutions, said he worked on the principle that all tax-free cash recycling was illegal, and this seemed like "blatant tax-free cash recycling".