Archive for August, 2011

Credit not so easy for the USA … downgraded from AAA status

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Standard & Poors have downgraded the USA’s triple A rating… my only question is…. what took them so long ?! The USA have just extended their overdraft … which is already at 13 Trillion Dollars !!! Its outrageous.

Word of warning for you all out there – just because it was AAA in the past… doesn’t mean its AAA now…. times have changed… and are changing… The power is moving EAST.

A lot of well-known businesses and countries trade on their ‘past achievements’ but the current reality is that they’re not all that they’re cracked up to be (any more)… and the businesses trading with them – need to be aware of this.

Otherwise, you can easily find yourself in a position where you are owed hundreds of thousands of pounds…. and you’ve NO CHANCE OF GETTING IT BACK.

Interesting times….

Pensions Reform – Employee costs set to rise….

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Another set of regulations is set to fall on the shoulders of all employers. This time it’s a compulsory pension scheme for all employees.

This new pensions law is due to be introduced over four years from October 2012. The largest employers (120,000 or more employees) will be forced to sign up first. Those who employ less than 50 workers will be required to take part in the scheme from a date sometime in 2014 to 2016. The exact date will depend on your PAYE reference number.

Only one-man companies will be exempt, otherwise every employer who has workers in the UK will be required to enrol those workers in a pension scheme. There will be exceptions for workers aged under 22, over state retirement age or paid less than £7,475. Employees will have to take an active decision to opt out and sign a form to do so. The employer will not be permitted to induce employees to opt out, or to screen out potential employees who do not wish to opt out of the pension scheme.

Employers and employees will be required to make contributions to the pension scheme totalling 8% of the workers earnings, including tax relief given on the employees’ contributions. The employer must contribute at least 3% of the workers’ earnings. This level of compulsory contributions will be imposed gradually over five years to 2017.

Employers can use an existing pension scheme, set up a new one, or use the new low cost pension scheme established by the Government called NEST (National Employment Savings Trust). Where an existing scheme is used the employer will have to certify that it meets all the requirements for compulsory pension saving. Every employer will also be required to register with the pensions regulator.

To prepare for these new regulations talk to your pension scheme provider, if you have one. If you don’t have a workplace pension scheme you need to plan to set one up as this can take sometime to implement, and to start budgeting for the costs!

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