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Chewing Grass

Mr Ed's Savings Advice Column

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    • By Frank Hovis
      There are a few of us on the board, including myself, who are looking to retire in the next 5 - 10 years.
      If you don't have a degree (or do have one but are prepared to lie about it) have you considered doing a degree in a subject in which you have a genuine interest in order to effectively retire three years' early funded by the state and so claw back those state pension years which they have stolen from you by claiming full maintenance loan in the happy knowledge that you will never work again so won't have to pay any of the £30k back?
      Admissions for mature students is generally no questions asked and you can also immerse yourself in Literature or whatever takes your fancy for three years.
      Plus, and here's the best bit, as you have no inention of ever working again so the qualification in itself has absolutely zero benefit you only need to do the bare minimum so as not to get thrown off the course and don't even need to turn up for your finals.
      If not why not?
      Am I right in thinking that you don't have a degree @Van Lady yet have a wide interest in the world around you?  Fancy doing a Botany degree?
    • By Frank Hovis
      I'm in my final qualifying year of the 35 but have two incomplete years (second and third college years) and would have been opted out from SERPS for most if not all of it.
      The HMRC website is ambiguous and I know two people of similar age who have been phoning up to enquire.
      I have heard people say once your thirty five years are done that's it and you can't change it but that's not what the people phoning up have been told which is that you can replace those partial years.
      Two methods:
      If still working they will be replaced with the new years.
      If not working (and presumably pre state retirement age) phone up at the end of each year and you can buy full years for c. £700 which replace partial years.
      This latter was what I did with two years of a mature post-grad degree where they write to me asking if I wanted to buy the two years for about £300 each IIRC; which I did and it shows on my record.
      Can anyone confirm or has been told differently?
    • By Chewing Grass
      I run a micro business and have just got a nasty letter from the Pensions Regulator.
      Apparently I have not done the Declaration of Compliance for my business and its is big stick followed by finey finey time.
      Now ignoring the fact that I have not had a previous letter or being small i.e. 1 and 1/2 an employee and the me mentally thinking I didn't need to do anything off my own bat mistake.
      The following struck me after jumping through the electronic hoop.
      1) the only info they got was how many employees I had and how many were in a pension scheme, no names no scheme names.
      Thing is they already know this (or the glubberment does) from my PAYE/NI.
      The whole thing is pointless bollocks and is like they are fishing for mismatches of information.
      Same with fucking Tax returns, they already know 90% of the information you tell them.
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