Many people see the festive season as an opportunity to reflect on the past year, and we’re no different. This December, we’re looking back on our most popular articles of 2022.
It’s been an eventful year, with fluctuating markets, high inflation and quite a bit of uncertainty. To help you navigate this and stay in the know about various money matters, we’ve written plenty of articles. After all, the more information you have, the more confident you could feel when it comes to your financial future.
Here’s a round-up of the topics people were most eager to learn about from us this year. Whether you’re just starting to think about saving for the future or you’re already taking your pension money, we have something for you.
1. The State Pension triple lock
Lots of people wanted to know more about the State Pension triple lock this year.
The triple lock means that, every year, the State Pension is supposed to rise by the highest out of three measures: inflation, average earnings growth, or 2.5%. But for the 2022-23 tax year, the government suspended the average earnings growth measure.
In his Autumn Statement in November, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed that the triple lock will be reinstated from April 2023. This means that in the 2023-24 tax year, the State Pension will rise by 10.1% – which is what the inflation rate was back in September.
To find out more about how the State Pension triple lock could affect you and why it’s important, you can read our recent article.
2. Pension mistakes to avoid
Are you trying to grow your pension savings? You’re not alone, judging by the number of people that looked at our seven pension mistakes to avoid when you're aiming to build your pot.
There are things it can be beneficial not to do if you’re trying to boost your pension pot. For example, you’ll probably want to avoid losing track of your pension pots and potentially missing out on money you’ve previously saved. This is covered in our pension mistakes article, along with other tips.
Of course, there are things you could consider doing to help you on your savings journey. Why not take some practical steps over the festive period or add some small tasks to your new year to-do list? For instance, you could try to find any misplaced pension pots with help from the government’s Pension Tracing Service. You could visit our retirement tool to check how much you might need to fund your retirement. Or you might choose to download the Standard Life app or use our online servicing to do things like check the value of your pension savings.
3. Market fluctuations and your investments
2022 has seen financial markets responding to various economic and political events, such as the war in Ukraine.
This year, you might’ve felt worried about the effect of the fluctuating pound and market ups and downs on your pension money.
Our article explaining how market fluctuations might impact your pension investments proved a popular read. It discusses why thinking about the long-term picture can be more beneficial than reacting in the short term when it comes to your investments. The article can give you an idea of what factors to consider in uncertain times. And this could help you feel more confident when making decisions about your money.
Remember, a pension is an investment. Its value can go down as well as up and could be worth less than was paid in.
4. Gifting money to children and grandchildren
Tens of thousands of people wanted to know more about how they can give financial gifts to their children and grandchildren in a tax-efficient way.
Giving money or other assets to your children and grandchildren may be something you’re considering. But there’s tax to think about, including inheritance tax and capital gains tax. So planning could be important to make sure you or your family don’t end up with an unexpected tax bill.
Our article on gifting – How much money can I gift to my children and grandchildren tax free? – introduces you to how these taxes work. It can also let you know how to gift money to your family members without them having to pay a tax charge.
Your own personal circumstances, including where you live in the UK, will have an impact on the tax you pay, and laws and tax rules may change in the future.
Giving financial gifts can be a complex area. So if you’re planning what to gift your loved ones, it could be worth seeking financial advice. If you don’t have a financial adviser, you could find one at Unbiased.co.uk.
5. Taking money from your pension plan while working
This year, lots of people wanted to find out if they can take an income from their pension savings before leaving the workforce.
Many pension plans allow you to start taking your money from the age of 55 (rising to 57 in 2028). It’s usually possible to withdraw money from your pension plan while you continue to work. But there are things to consider first – as we explain in our article Can I take money from my pension plan at 55 and still work? For example, taking money from your pension plan may limit how much you can pay into it in the future. So if you’re planning on taking your pension money before you retire completely, this article could be one for you.
Our website also has a guide on ways to take your pension money. Learning what your options are is a good step when you’re preparing for life after work.
The information in this article should not be regarded as financial advice and is based on our understanding in December 2022.
Standard Life accepts no responsibility for information contained on external websites. This is for general information only.