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The Options UK brand was launched a year ago with a mission to bring an innovative, solutions-based approach to the UK market. Despite the pandemic taking over our lives in more ways than we could have imagined, Options UK has already become established as a trusted brand.
We’re all well aware of some of the harsh economic realities that will be part of the ‘new normal’ that emerges in the months ahead – but how the pandemic is likely to impact DB pensions members is perhaps less well-known, as we explain in this article.
We’re supporting the aims of International Women’s Day which celebrates women's achievements, raises awareness against bias, and takes action for equality. Celebrated on March 8 every year, its history can be traced back more than a century to the days when women were campaigning for electoral reform. Today, it is supported by the United Nations and many other global organisations.
The growing risks associated with cash and property are accelerating a shift towards pensions, especially with a growing number of British Muslims looking for an alternative to keeping cash in the bank or investing in residential property. Read on to find out more about what’s driving this trend.
We’ve all had lots of ‘blue Mondays’ in recent months – but the official Blue Monday this year falls on January 18th. It’s held on the third Monday in January because, say experts, statistically that’s usually the worst day for feeling down in the dumps. At Options we always look on the bright side, so we think it’s also a great day to beat the blues by thinking positively and doing something practical to plan ahead for your tomorrow.
Halal investing remains virtually unknown to UK investors, but following the recent launch of a Sharia-complaint workplace pension, SIPP and other saving products, backed by pension experts Options UK and Halal investment specialists Wahed Invest, it adds a fresh dimension to ESG and SRI investing.
Several of the economic forecasts published recently by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) made for uncomfortable reading. The OBR believes that unemployment could rise beyond 8.5% as struggling businesses fall into administration or cut staff numbers in an effort to survive. Given prevailing circumstances, it is no surprise to learn of a surge in requests from concerned employees for cash equivalent transfer values (CETV) relating to their defined benefit (DB) pensions.
It would be unfair to describe the phased introduction of workplace pensions (WPP) as anything other than an overwhelming success. From a standing start in 2012, by the end of 2019, more than 77% of the UK’s workforce had enrolled in a WPP with over one third (36%) registered as members of occupational defined contribution pension schemes. Yet the administration of many WPP schemes is less than perfect: frankly, they should be more accurate and efficient, systemic drawbacks that could compromise companies operating in an area which many describe as a ‘minefield’ – and with some justification.
With more and more accountants being asked by clients for help with setting up a workplace pension scheme, Options UK is now servicing this growing market by offering new products.
Leading independent pension provider Options UK has been strengthened by its parent group’s acquisition of two respected and well-established businesses. Options is the UK pension solutions arm of cross border financial services provider STM Group Plc which recently acquired Berkeley Burke (Financial Services) Ltd and Berkeley Burke Employee Benefit Consultants Ltd.