Prudential Reveals Two In Five Planning To Retire In 2011

Prudential has announced that two in five people are planning their retirement for 2011, even though many have received no advice or have relied solely on non-professional advice.

Two in every five people planning to retire in 2011 will do so having relied on non-professional advice as their main financial information source in the run up to retirement. Prudential’s Class of 2011 research studied the financial plans of this year’s retirees and found that 43 per cent have received no professional advice or relied on the internet or the media for most of their pension advice.

However, more than a quarter (28 per cent) of people intending to retire this year received most of their financial information from an IFA – a figure that remains unchanged since last year. But the study shows there is an increasing trend for people to conduct their own research before seeking pre-retirement financial advice. Half of those who said that an IFA was their main source of retirement income advice had also carried out research online and via the media – an increase from one in three in 2010.

Prudential also found that nearly one in ten (9 per cent) are relying on employers for pre-retirement financial advice advice while another 16 per cent are putting their faith in a mix of friends and family, pension providers and banks.

Russell Warwick, distribution strategy director at Prudential, said: “These results show that there is a genuine advice gap for people in the run-up to retirement. The majority of people due to retire this year will miss out on professional advice and could potentially be making mistakes when planning for their retirement income.

“It is imperative for people looking to secure their retirement income to start saving as much as they can as early as they can and in the years immediately prior to retirement I would also recommend a consultation with a professional adviser on an annual basis.

“Our research has also found that the numbers seeking financial advice prior to retirement in 2011 have not changed since last year. This highlights the work that we as an industry will need to undertake to increase consumer understanding of the value that advisers can add in the run up to the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review next year.”

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Prudential Reveals More than a Third are Delaying Retirement

Prudential has revealed that more than a third of people are delaying their retirement and putting their dreams on hold.

More than a third (38 per cent) of people due to retire in 2011 are cancelling their plans and delaying retirement and working longer, and a significant proportion (22 per cent) of these are doing so because they can’t afford to stop working.

The findings, from Prudential’s Class of 2011 study, revealed that those delaying retirement this year for financial reasons, had, on average, hoped to stop working at age 62 but now expect to be 68 years old before they can finally take up their state pension. The study, now in its fifth year, questioned people who had planned to retire during 2011.

Two fifths (40 per cent) of those delaying retirement in 2011 due to the financial strain that it will create, believe that they will have to keep working until they are 70 years old, or older, in order to retire with a comfortable income.

Prudential’s study shows that of all those planning to retire in 2011, 22 per cent now say they can’t afford to – a figure that has increased since 2010 when it was 15 per cent. In addition, 16 per cent of those planning to retire in 2011 do not want to quit working.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential said: “The only realistic option for those who want to avoid having to delay their planned retirement is to start saving as much as they can as early as they can.

“However, as inflation reaches 5.5 per cent and disposable incomes are reduced, Prudential’s research shows that people are postponing retirement to either build up their pension pots further or simply to continue in a job that they enjoy. When economic factors are combined with changes in legislation, such as the abolition of the Default Retirement age and an increasing trend of choosing to continue at work, it is easy to understand why more people are postponing their retirement plans.

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Saxo Bank First To Offer Direct Online Trading In Brazilian Market

Saxo Bank, the specialist in online trading and investment, has launched four futures that will, for the first time, offer investors who are not residents in Brazil direct access to the Brazilian market. The products include the Bovespa Index and USD/BRL cross and enable investors to gain exposure to one of the currently most buoyant economies and hedge risks in their portfolios.

With this launch, Saxo Bank provides investors with four futures investment instruments – the BOVESPA Index, IBOVSPA Index Mini, BMF US Dollar Future and Mini BMF US Dollar – that are available on all of the bank’s platforms (SaxoTrader, SaxoWebTrader and SaxoMobileTrader).

Moreover, Saxo Bank expands its coverage to over 20 futures markets and more than 80 trading venues which can be accessed via a product range comprising more than 22,000 financial instruments.

In a statement, Pedro Brigham, director of the Latin region for Saxo Bank, said: “The rise in commodity prices has put Brazil on investors’ radars. Its excellent economic growth, political stability and a liquid market where over 3.5 billion US dollars are traded on a daily basis have made the country the clear leader in Latin America at a time when investors increasingly demand greater access to emerging markets”.

Claus Nielsen, executive vice president and head of markets at Saxo Bank, added: “The launch of futures trading in Brazil marks a significant milestone for Saxo Bank, and we are proud to be able to offer our global client base access to this vibrant economy. We look forward to expanding the list of available instruments in Brazil and to further add trading venues in emerging countries to our platform.”

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More Financial press releases’s Car Study Reveals The Vehicles Used By William And Kate has conducted a study to get some insight into the vehicles used by people called William and Kate in the UK.

Drivers called Kate or William (aged 28-40) are more likely to get behind the wheel of a Mini (Kate) or a Rover (William) than the average British motorist, according to a study of 8 million drivers in the UK carried out by car insurance comparison site The traditionally British iconic cars are favoured by Kates and Williams, with Catherines preferring to get behind the wheel of a Citroen. Drivers called William also favour X-type Jaguars, according to data.

The research, which was conducted from a database of quotes carried out through the site highlighted a number of differences between the driving habits of drivers named William, Kate and Catherine.

The data, which included 28-40 year old drivers in the UK, was overseen by Gareth Kloet, head of car insurance at the company. Kloet commented: “The upcoming royal wedding has increased the interest in the names William and Kate dramatically. With data to hand, we have found that William and Kate’s around the UK have very sensible car models, a driving attribute that would expect from the royals.” have also discovered a number of statistics relating to the type of home and family expected for a William and Kate in the UK population, referencing data from 2.5 million home insurance customers. The data showed that only 60 couples were called William and Kate as registered on their home insurance policies.

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Business Monitor International Releases Japan Earthquake Implications Report

Business Monitor International has released a new special report which covers the probable economic and market implications of the Japan earthquake to the world economy.

Since the devastating Tohoku earthquake in Japan on March 11 and its terrible aftermath, there has been much speculation on the scale and scope of a potential nuclear disaster and the implications the disaster will have on the world financial markets. The special report seeks to provide some insight into some of the main economic repercussions ranging from the disruption to Japanese economic growth and markets through to the impact on commodity prices and the infrastructure sector.

Currently at least 6,000 people are known to have died and many thousands are still missing, with local authorities reporting that the final toll could exceed 10,000, which would be greater than the 6,400 killed in the Kobe (Hanshin) quake of 1995. However, while the human toll is disastrous, the infrastructure analysis provides the relatively positive news, if there is any, that Japan is better placed than many other disaster prone countries to respond to the crisis and Japan’s social cohesion should help it withstand a disaster of this magnitude better than many other countries. The participation of China and South Korea in the rescue efforts could also boost the previously strained relations between Japan and its neighbours.

Figures in the report show that there will be severe disruption to economic activity and that recession risks have returned to the fore, although at this stage the full impact is difficult to estimate. This comes at a time when it looked like export growth would boost overall GDP in 2011 following a 1.2% annualised contraction in Q410. While Tohoku is not a major economic centre, it still accounts for 8% of GDP and has numerous factories. Meanwhile, power outages across large parts of Japan, including Greater Tokyo, and supply chain concerns mean that major exporting companies such as Sony and Toyota have halted some operations indefinitely. Assuming that net exports place a sizeable drag on headline growth as exports cool and capital imports surge (as following the Hanshin earthquake in 1995), Japan may continue to suffer negative sequential growth in H111.

Other insights from the Japan analysis indicate that the Japanese government will need to spend heavily to rebuild the damage in the Tohoku region, around the city of Sendai, which will generate economic activity, but the costs will worsen Japan’s already dire fiscal deficit and debt burdens, and could put gross government debt through the JPY1,000trn level this year (an estimated 204% of GDP). Additionally, while markets will remain volatile in the short term, indications are that the authorities’ response to the crisis means that the medium-term view of a weaker yen (to JPY85.00/US$ in the first instance) remains on track, and the longer-term view of an eventual fiscal crisis is reinforced.

Other major areas looked at by the report include the risks for oil & gas prices, shipping, agriculture, automotive manufacture and the base metals industry, as well as important regional economic outlooks.

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Payday Express Office Move Takes the Company to a Different Level

One of the leading payday loan lenders in the UK, Payday Express has just completed a beneficial office move that has given the company more space to enable expansion.

Up until recently, instant payday loans provider, Payday Express, was based in offices which due to the company’s rapid growth had become too small. This meant that the company was unable to make necessary expansions for certain departments in order to keep up with the increasing level of business.

Payday Express has now moved in to their new office, which is based in Bromley, Kent and located around the corner from its old office. The more spacious office has not only provided an improved working environment for the employees, but has opened up new opportunities for the company which will enable the business to be taken to a different level.

The project, successfully managed by Payday Express’ Operations Manager, Sarah Carroll, was made even more impressive by the speed with which the move happened.

Agents were able to work normal hours on the Saturday and come into work the following Monday and pick up where they left off with no disruptions.

Speaking about the move, Sarah said: “The new offices and the extra space have made such a difference to the employees. Aside from the obvious benefit of being able hire additional members of staff, it has also helped boost the team spirit and the feeling of togetherness in the company.

“It is interesting to be a part of a company that is constantly growing and offering new opportunities, and the office move has opened up more possibilities. We may only have moved around the corner from our old offices, but it has made a world of difference.”

The office move is the latest development that the quick payday loans company has put into action to boost customer service. Recent projects have included improving the company’s fraud prevention measures and increasing opening hours during the week and on Saturdays too.

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Online Merchants Maintain Confidence Despite VAT Rise

Almost 50% of online merchants have reported that their sales are up on last year so far, despite the VAT increase in January, according to research by SecureTrading, the UK’s leading independent payment processor.

Approximately 10% of merchants have reported that sales are higher than expected, while 55% claim that sales are in line with their expectations.

Meanwhile, half of the merchants surveyed have taken on the increased VAT cost internally rather than pass this onto the customers. However, 20% have said they do plan to pass these costs on in the next three months, while 52% have no plans to pass these costs on in the future whatsoever.

Tim Allitt, Head of Sales & Marketing, SecureTrading, said, “ Many traditional high street retailers struggled in the run-up to Christmas and this has continued for some in the New Year. However, online merchant accounts are continuing to perform strongly despite the current economic challenges. With the continued growth of online shopping and the rapid take-up by consumers of smart phones, we expect to see this sector go from strength to strength despite the VAT rise. Merchants are working hard to deliver a great experience to their customers.”

Almost 20 per cent of online merchants have introduced VAT-beating promotions to incentivise customer spending. Many merchants are confident that 2011 will be an even better year for online retailing with 72% expecting to perform better than last year.

Allitt added, “Online merchants will have to increase their efforts in 2011 to continue to perform strongly. It’s essential that businesses partner with an experienced and secure payments processer to ensure they can meet customer expectations for a speedy and convenient service.”

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Northern Rock has announced the launch of its Easy ISA Issue 2

Following the success of its recently launched Easy ISA, Northern Rock has improved the variable rate cash ISA account, which offers a competitive tax-free* interest rate for a minimum deposit of just £1.

Easy ISA can now be opened and administered by post, as well as in branch.

The Easy ISA Issue 2 account provides a variable rate of interest, and easy access to savings funds. With a minimum deposit of £1, a competitive flat rate of 2.65% tax free*/AER** pa, and the option to transfer across any existing Cash ISAs, Easy ISA makes sense. Balances below £1.00 will earn the basic savings rate of 0.10% tax free* per annum and deposits into the Variable Rate Easy ISA will be allowed from all Northern Rock variable rate accounts, instant access and notice accounts. Transfers from online accounts must be made via the nominated bank account. Transfers in from other organisations are allowed.

The product welcomes additional deposits and transfers within HM Revenue and Customs limits (£5,340 pa from 6 April 2011). Interest, which can be added to the account or paid into another account, is paid annually on 30 November and will be available the next business day.

Charge-free and notice-free withdrawals and transfers (minimum £1) can also be made from the account (there is a £35 fee for transfers via CHAPS).

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Northern Rock Launches Improved e-ISA Issue 2

Northern Rock has launched a new issue of its online variable rate ISA to complement its competitive portfolio of branch, postal and online savings accounts.

e-ISA Issue 2 offers those who prefer to operate their savings accounts via the internet, an online option for their tax-free* savings. e-ISA is a variable rate Cash ISA set at a competitive rate of interest.

Northern Rock’s customer and commercial director Andy Tate said: “Our customers want options. They want to be able to choose the best account to meet their individual needs, whether that be tax-free or not, and variable or fixed rate.

“We are pleased to increase our ISA rates, as the previous issue was well received by our customers and the market as a whole.”

For customers who prefer to earn a variable rate of interest on their tax-free* savings, variable rate e-ISA Issue 2 can be opened with no initial deposit.

Interest, which can be added to the account or paid into another account, is paid annually on the first business day following the 11 March and available the next business day on minimum balances of £1.00 (balances which fall below this amount will earn Northern Rock’s prevailing rate of interest, 0.10% tax free*/AER** pa).

e-ISA Issue 2 allow transfers in from other providers and additional deposits can be made to the Cash ISA, within HM Revenue and Customs limits (£5,340 pa from 6 April 2011) up to 30 days after the product is withdrawn.

Minimum withdrawals of £1 by BACS and £250 by CHAPS can be made from the account.
There is a £35 fee for transfers out via CHAPS.

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Prudential Reveals Number Of Poverty Line Pensioners On The Rise

Prudential has revealed that more than a third (35 per cent) of people planning to retire in the UK this year will do so with incomes below the poverty line.

To meet its minimum income standard the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the charity that funds a large, UK-wide research and development programme, estimates that a single person in the UK needs at least £14,400 a year, yet 35 per cent of those retiring in 2011 will have a retirement income below this level, up from 32 per cent in 2010.

Prudential’s Class of 2011 study surveyed people intending to retire this year and also revealed that nearly one in five (19 per cent) will retire on an annual income of less than £10,000 a year.

Women planning to retire this year are even more likely to have incomes below the poverty line. 40 per cent of women retiring in 2011 will have a pension income of less than £14,400 compared with 30 per cent of men. Prudential’s research also found that a quarter (26 per cent) of women compared with 12 per cent of men will retire this year with less than £10,000 a year to live on.

Vince Smith-Hughes, Head of Business Development at Prudential said: “Although our research shows that increasing numbers of those planning to retire will face tough financial decisions, there are many options available to boost retirement income.

“People approaching retirement should seek professional financial advice as a prerequisite to maximising their income. We would recommend that you review your finances with an adviser annually in the years immediately before your planned retirement.

“Following the simple advice to start saving as much as you can as early as you can should help to secure the retirement income you want and need. Making voluntary National Insurance contributions should also help to boost retirement income for people who have had breaks in National Insurance payment during their working lives.”

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