Blog

  • Great Expectations – Recent Stock Market Turmoil

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    My comments are intended to provide a sense of perspective on recent stock market events. I believe that they key factor driving markets at the moment is expectations of interest rate movements. The simple rule is that there is a hierarchy of risk and returns: A) If banks are paying low interest of say 0.5% then:- B) A Government Bond is a bit risk...
  • What will be the impact of the Brexit divorce bill?

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    Thanks to the ‘breakthrough’ deal struck in early December last year by Prime Minister Theresa May with the EU, we now know that there will not be a ‘hard border’ with Ireland, that the rights of both EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU will be protected, and that the ‘divorce bill’ figure will be somewhere between £35 billion and £39 b...
  • How can you tell if your accountant is embracing the future?

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    When choosing an accountant, there are obvious factors that you’ll take into consideration. Of course you’ll want someone who is completely trustworthy and highly competent, but one area you may not think of straight away is whether your accountant is someone whose methods are stuck in the past. A good accountancy firm will be open to adapting thei...
  • The VAT threshold and the issues it causes

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    The Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed that the VAT threshold would remain frozen at £85,000 for at least the next two years in his Autumn Budget. Mr. Hammond’s reasoning was that the current threshold was well balanced to keep smaller businesses out of the VAT system. However, a recent report from the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) suggests t...
  • How has auto-enrolment changed saving habits?

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    A recent report from the Resolution Foundation has revealed the impact that auto-enrolment is having on the saving habits of UK workers. One of the positive predictions from the think tank’s findings is that millennials are likely to enjoy the same level of retirement income as current pensioners, going against the pessimism which usually surrounds...
  • Changes 2018 in employee benefit legislation

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    Retirement Every year several figures for pension plans in the Netherlands are updated. Please find the most important changes below. Offset Pension system Minimum required offset 2017 Minimum required offset 2018 Final Pay € 14.850 € 15.099 Average Pay € 13.123 € 13.334 Defined Contribution € 13.123 € 13.334   The offset has to...
  • Capitalism, Politics and Horror Movies

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    As stock markets continue their march beyond all-time highs the usual concerns start to emerge: Are stock markets over-valued? After the boom surely there will be a bust? What about Trump/Brexit/North Korea/China… etc? For those who are waiting to invest the prospect reads like a horror movie script. The thought of placing cash into the markets i...
  • Update from our Germany Office

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    The OECD has published the "Pensions at a Glance 2017" - report. Looking into the report on Germany one has to state that Germany’s pension system is not bad, but old- fashioned. The replacement rates (net) are expected to remain below the OECD average, in particular for low earners (55% vs 73%). Missing basic and minimum pensions will lead to havi...
  • News and Views from our UK EB team:

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    An interesting development in 2017 was that more and more of our clients are looking at additional ‘value added’ staff benefits; Halfords Cycle2Work and Kiddicare Vouchers, for example, are becoming increasingly popular.  International medical insurance for companies who have travelling executives is also becoming a more popular request and we now...
  • Quarterly Newsletter - January 2018 - Paul Beard Introduction

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    Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed a peaceful and happy Christmas; it’s a time for family and friends to reflect on another year past As ever here at ABG things didn’t stand still: In February we replaced our Australian Director and appointed Dave Stone, at the same time as relocating the business to Perth, which is a better market for the int...