News Archives - The RU Group


One of the youngest chartered financial planners in the UK

Chartered financial planner Ben Slater

Ben Slater, a former apprentice with The RU Group becomes one of the youngest chartered financial planners in the UK. Previously ‘High Achiever of the Year’ Ben received Chartered status in record time. Recently, we received the excellent news that our former apprentice turned IFA, Ben Slater, had successfully passed all his exams and achieved …

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Pension annual allowance penalties

Jar of money - pension annual allowance

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed a gap in HMRC’s knowledge about how many people have been hit with penalties around the pension annual allowance. The pension annual allowance, which effectively sets the tax-efficient ceiling on annual pension contributions, used to be a subject of little interest, even among pension professionals. When it …

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What is planned for inheritance tax simplification?

Family on the beach - Inheritance tax simplification

In July the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) published its long-awaited second report on inheritance tax simplification. It contained a range of useful proposals.  The report, which focused on simplifying the structure of inheritance tax, contained some surprises, not only in the recommendations it makes, but also in those areas it has left untouched. Gifts The …

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What is a Pension Dashboard?

Pension Dashboard on tablet

The concept of a pension dashboard was mentioned in the Queen’s speech in parliament yesterday. It’s a new innovation in the pensions and advice market by the Department for Work and Pensions, which needs a bit of further explanation. Company pension schemes The way we now work means that changing jobs is far more common …

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Lincoln’s ‘Best Finance Student’ joins The RU Group

graduation - student finance

We are delighted to welcome the University of Lincoln’s ‘Best Finance Student’ to our team. Over the summer, we were delighted to welcome Emma Raine to our Nottingham HQ as a full-time Client Servicing Administrator. Emma graduated in September from the International Business School at the University of Lincoln with a First Class Honours Degree …

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A poem for our Financial Planning Manager

thank you poem for our financial planning manager

A media opportunity sees our Financial Planning Manager Nick Onslow help a former Royal Mail employee access his pension. Earlier this year, our Financial Planning Manager Nick Onslow was featured in national newspaper He was contacted by personal finance journalist Elizabeth Anderson to provide advice on a case regarding a former Royal Mail employee …

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Low take up of nil-rate band for inheritance tax

A large house - nil-rate band for inheritance tax

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has reported a new record high for Inheritance Tax receipts received in 2017/18, coming in at around £5.2 billion. However the use of the nil-rate band is lower than expected.

This equates to a £400 million or an 8% year on year increase in the amount received in the 2016/17 tax year. This is despite the introduction in April 2018 of the main residence nil-rate band which, in certain circumstances, allows couples to pass on a family home worth up to £100,000 tax-free, in addition to the already available £650,000 combined nil-rate band.

The last eight years have seen inheritance tax receipts steadily increase, mainly as a result of the rapid rise in property prices (especially in London and the South East) that led to the introduction of the main residence nil-rate band. This residence nil-rate band is due to increase each year until 2020, when a couple will be able to bequest a home worth £1m without incurring tax.

However, this exemption is restrictive and very complicated. Indeed, a Freedom of Information request from financial advice firm NFU Mutual showed that as few as one in six estates have used the new nil-rate band exemption. HMRC data obtained via this FOI request shows that just over 3,000 taxpaying estates claimed the new residence nil-rate band between April and December 2017.

By any standards, this is a very low take-up of a theoretically valuable ‘exemption’. It may be that estates that did not claim the exemption were not eligible for the residence nil-rate band, or it might be that the personal representatives just did not know about it. This nil-rate band does not need to be claimed – according to HMRC, it is included automatically for all qualifying estates.

However, this only works if HMRC has enough detail through probate to know that it applies. If you have not had a professional assessment of the potential inheritance tax liability that could arise on your death, or considered methods of mitigating this, since the residence nil-rate band came into force in April 2017, then we would strongly recommend that you seek advice in this area.

The main nil-rate band of £325,000 per person has been frozen since 2009, so even modest growth in property or investment values will serve to increase inheritance tax liabilities.