Opinion

    Money Talk: Saving via pensions 

    Over the last few years the government has done a fair amount to give low and middle income earners access to pensions. I think more has to be done, as simply saving a small percentage of income on a monthly basis is not enough. All employers will be required to provide staff members a work place pension by 2018. There is no exception, and if you contribute so does your employer.

    So coming to the title the misconceptions:

    When I die my pension dies with me – this is not true because if you do die, you will have a pot of money, which can be transferred to your loved ones, or those that you chose. Death pre 75 means tax free benefits upto £1 million for most people, and after 75 benefits are taxed at marginal rates

    It is too difficult to set up – not anymore your employer has to set the pension up for you. In fact they have to actually auto enrol you, and then you need to choose if you want to keep the pension, or you want to come out of it. If you want a private pension for yourself, they are easy to set up, but you may need a financial adviser to pick funds for you.

    My house is my pension – This is all well and good, but at retirement if you are going to sell to make ends meet, then where are you going to live. Your house also does not have any tax advantage i.e. a pension payment of £80.00 a month is actually a £100 as the government rewards for investing in a pension. The other issue is if you go into long term care, then your house will be sold at some stage to pay for this; however, a pension is protected if you are not taking benefits from the pension.

    The government will help me – The state pension is designed as minimal income, and usually will not cover all your bills. I see many clients that are using savings, downsizing, or struggling significantly in retirement because they just have the state pension. Imagine paying all your bills, costs etc. on circa £150 per week. Could you live at the moment on circa £600 a month, and if the answer is no, then you know you need to do something.

    The state pension is also pay as you go, and in my view quite unfair. This is because the workers of today are paying for those retired now, and the state pension age is increasing. Currently for a 32 year old it is 68, and it is likely it will hit 70 by the time the young of today retire, if not possibly even higher. If you pass away before state pension age, then in my view your national insurance contributions have gone to waste.

    I am too old – You are never too old to save in a pension, and with the new changes leading to liberation of pensions, saving for even a few years could mean you are far better off. You can save till 75 and still get tax relief from your pension.

    I am too young – Ask an older person how soon years fly by. The younger you start the more time your monies have to grow i.e. £1000 today invested will have more time to grow than £1000 invested in 10 years, when you retire in 30 years.

    Overall, put simply we all need to invest into pensions. I do not wish to rely on state benefits because the way things are going, the state will have less and less to give out in the form of benefits; therefore I strongly believe people need to fund their own retirement. I am doing the same, and honestly it’s the best investment I have ever made, as its invested, I cannot touch it till I am 55, and it is there to protect me in old age.

     

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    Legal Talk: Marathon Loses Again

    Part 36 is a provision in the Civil Procedure Rules that allows a party in litigation to make a settlement offer before trial on terms that if the offer is not accepted and the opposing party fails to beat that offer at trial then the Court is likely to impose severe costs and/or interest penalties.  Part 36 Offers are made on a “without prejudice” basis and the Court is not made aware of that offer until after it has given judgement but before it has made an Order in relation to who should pay for the cost of the proceedings.

    Part 36 Offers are designed to encourage parties to settle without going to trial and if used wisely, they can be a potent negotiating tool.  Making a Part 36 Offer should not be seen as a sign of weakness but instead as an appropriate means of putting pressure on an opponent to settle the dispute.

    The article headed “Marathon Receives Buttons” published in this publication recently referred to the case of Marathon Asset Management LLP v Seddon & Bridgeman.  In that case, Marathon pursued a claim against Mr Seddon and Mr Bridgeman, two former employees, for taking confidential information belonging to Marathon before they left the company.  Marathon sought damages of £15m against their former employees.  However, the Court only awarded Marathon nominal damages of £1 against each Defendant as they had not used the information that they had taken and, in any event, Marathon had suffered no financial loss as a result of that.

    The matter subsequently went back to Court for the Judge to deal with the issue of costs.  Usually, the successful party in the litigation is awarded his costs of that litigation.  However, even though Marathon had technically “won” (as it was awarded damages against the Defendants), the Judge ordered Marathon to pay the majority of the Defendants’ costs following the revelation that Marathon had failed to accept a Part 36 Offer made by the Defendants during the proceedings.  After the trial, it was revealed that the Defendants had made a £1.5m Part 36 Offer to Marathon but that offer had been rejected.

    As Marathon had failed to beat that offer (as it was only awarded damages of £2) the Judge considered the Part 36 Offer to be a “game changer” in terms of deciding whether Marathon should be entitled to its costs.  Instead he ruled that Marathon should pay the Defendants’ costs from the date when the Part 36 Offer was rejected by Marathon.  In the words of the Judge: “the offer made by the Defendants should have rendered that dispute entirely academic… the costs consequences should be visited on parties in Marathon’s position who, instead of taking a realistic attitude, open their mouths too wide”.

    This case should act as a stark warning to litigants to consider Part 36 Offers carefully and to accept any which are sensible instead of continuing to litigate.

     

     

     

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    Numerology: Number 4, Four Pillars?

    4 PILLARS ?

    Compatibility is a very important aspect, when it comes to teaming up together, be it personally as well as professionally. Today, we sneak a look into how # 4 people {4th, 13th, 22nd & 31st born} fare with people born on the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4

    # 4 people are governed by Uranus.

    4 with 1:

    A very decent combination, as their original and unconventional ideas would match, considerably. Number 1 should prove to be lucky for number 4, and if possible, property or business should be in the name of number 1.

    The original, independent and unconventional ideas they would share could practically be implemented, as there would be less room for doubting each other. In business, though Uranus would make a # 4 person more research-oriented and inquisitive, 1 would be more comfortable if perched higher.

    # 1 Hrithik Roshan {10/01} shared great and successful chemistry with # 4 Preity Zinta {31/01} in Mission Kashmir & Koi Mil Gaya

    4 with 2:

    The chemistry here could be quite electrifying, as the ideas and thoughts would match reasonably well.

    If you take a No.2 person as a partner, it would be comfortable, as your originality would find a faithful follower, gains indicated.

    Shahrukh Khan is a number 2 whereas Juhi Chawla a # 4. Maanayta is # 4 while Hubbys Sanjay Dutt # 2. # 4 Sridevi {13/08} is married to Boney Kapoor who is# 2 {11/11}.

    4 with 3:

    Even if not exactly poles apart, there could be little chemistry, and more sparks than anything, as 3 could be more materialistic, safe and practical, whereas 4 could be more daring, unconventional, and original.

    From 4, 3 could learn to be more different and ingenious, and accept ‘change’ whereas 3 could teach 4 a lesson or two in matters of financial savings.

    3 would be more ambitious, daring and dominating, a risk taker.

    4 with 4:

    Both being unconventional and different, there could be a lot in common.

    However because others would not be as original, there would be difficulties in selling the inventive ideas. It would be like two Englishmen who do not know Roman, in Rome.

    Hey you readers out there, after reading the above, if you think you are mismatched, then you must take solace from the fact that opposites attract! Cheers!

    God Bless

    With Regards,

    Swetta Jumaani
    07448 297595
    swettajumaani@rediffmail.com
    www.jumaani.com

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    Hum Paanch!

    Compatibility is a very important aspect, when it comes to teaming up together, be it personally as well as professionally. Today, we sneak a look into how # 5 {05th, 14th & 23rd born} fare with people born with people born with people born on the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5:

    # 5’s are governed by Mercury.

    5 with 1:

    A respectable match, even in business, there would be good returns and high gains, as both can think and work fast, and would be materialistic by nature; however 1 would be the more dominating of the two, and would require a freer hand in the affairs.

    Number 1, if looked upon by a 5 number person, can make matters better, over all, an above-average match.

    Common interest could perhaps be music, dance, and entertainment and material success.

    But 1, Sun, can be too ‘heated’ for 5, Mercury, which could melt on pressure; so 1 should learn to deal with this fragility 5 could be disposed with.

    Number 5 Abhishek and Number 1 Aishwarya locked horns, er, exchanged garlands

    5 with 2:

    2 could find it a little difficult to keep up to the fast pace set by 5.

    To gel better, 2 would have to learn to flow with the pace, and try to give the proper direction to the unstable (wavering) mind of a 5.

    Patience and resilience is what 5 can learn from 2.

    {Kajol is a number 5 whereas Ajay Devgan a Number 2}

    5 with 3:

    On the material front, both could be lucky for the other, although 5 could end up being more expensive in ideas, and could be spendthrift, whereas 3 would spend as well as save.

    Getting on with routine and monotony is what 5 can learn from 3, and 3 could take a lesson or two in socializing or letting their hair loose!

    5 with 4:

    No.5 person as a partner could be good at business, and take some calculated moves, even if a little restlessly. Understanding 4 could come with a little more difficulty for 5.

    The redeeming aspect is that 5 would have the ability to mix and blend with almost all numbers.

    # 4 Imran Khan {04/01} was lucky to have two # 5’s influencing the start of his career in the form of Amir Khan {14/03} and Genelia {05/08}.

    5 with 5:

    An ideal match, almost inseparable; both would understand the necessity of giving space to each other; at the same time, boredom and monotony is what they should guard against. Although social outings could set them off well, ‘all play and no work’ is what they must guard against.

    # 5 Aamir Khan shared great chemistry with fellow # 5, Kajol in Fanaa.

    # 5 Genelia was lucky to get a break from fellow # 5 Aamir Khan.

    GOD BLESS

    With Regards,

    SWETTA JUMAANI
    07448 297595
    swettajumaani@rediffmail.com
    www.jumaani.com

     

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    Remembering Batley’s finest: Jo Cox

    By MO BHANA

    The first time I met Jo Cox was outside Dark Lane Masjid in Batley

    She was a relatively unknown politician to me at the time. However, she seemed unflustered by the amount of Asian/Muslim men walking out after Friday prayers.

    However, there was something about this unknown woman that was very endearing.

    She was introduced to one of the most respected Imam’s in Batley, Jo’s little frame made her way up to him in a very stateswoman, yet genuine manner and she introduced herself.

    “Don’t worry about your son, he’ll be fine tomorrow,” said Jo, assuring the sheikh that his eldest son’s wedding day would go according to plan and not to worry.

    They spoke and exchanged pleasantries and the rest of the congregation acknowledged our fellow local girl made good and we were on our way.

    Even though that was the only time I had met her, from what everyone said, Jo had an air of serene detachment about her, when it came to local residents, she seemed to understand the idiosyncrasies surrounding life in Batley.

    No job seemed beneath her, thus why everyone liked her. One resident from the Warwick Road area, Mohammed Pandor, explained how Jo took time out to visit his house, and somehow manage to communicate with his mother and gran who have a limited grasp of English.

    “The back wall in the garden needed some work and the council were useless, so we called Jo, who came over to the house, which we didn’t expect her to do.

    "She was chatting away with my mum and gran, who tried speaking with her in broken English and yet she somehow understood them” said Mohammed.

    “I was scratching my head, I couldn’t believe what was happening as she seemed to be able to communicate with them.

    “In between the conversation my gran would break into Gujarati and talk about how nice she was and Jo just looked back with a loving smile, she was one of a kind.”

    Andy Bottomley, a sales manager from Gomersal is adamant that Batley will never get an MP, as loving and caring as Jo ever again.

    “There was nothing fake about her, she was amazing, would never, ever talk down to anyone,” said Andy.

    “I’m a salesman and I know a genuine person when I see them and Jo was Batley through and through.”

    When news of her death filtered through, it was surreal; Jo’s passing was mourned by the people of Batley – many tears were shed by people from an array of backgrounds.

    Local historian Malcolm Haigh was present when the funeral cortege slowly drove through Batley town centre.

    “People from different backgrounds, kids, community leaders, friends and families all were there because they wanted to say goodbye to someone who worked tirelessly for the town.”

    My wife told me about a vigil held in Batley market place a few days after Jo’s death, the centre was packed with people as Imam’s, vicars and school children all gave heart moving speeches.

    After the event, my 4-year-old started crying, and as my wife and my eldest son began a 5-minute walk home, Jo’s sister was on hand to wipe his tears: “Don’t cry little one,” she said with a loving smile.

    I left a bouquet of flowers in Birstall market place close to where Jo lost her life, a police officer lifted a cordon to let us in and I quickly left the flowers as the assembled photographers were not taking no for an answer in relation to taking photographs of us.

    The police officer told us to look out for journalists who were looking to speak to us; we politely declined and headed home.

    A few weeks ago, I finally met a member of Jo’ family at the Huddersfield Town F.C boardroom - Kym. She was a guest of owner Dean Hoyle and his wife, Janet.

    As Kym was about to leave after the match, I spoke with her for a while, a genuinely lovely woman like Jo.

    It was surreal meeting her because she was re-assuring me as opposed to the other way round.

    “Don’t think about it too much, it honestly does not help,” said Kym.

    We spoke for a while and I’m delighted to see that she is working alongside Huddersfield Town F.C.

    Indeed, Jo’s family and friends have organised the great get together a community event on 16-18 June, in ­honour of Jo.

    The Great Get Together will be a huge demonstration of British public spirit as more than 100,000 events are being organised over the weekend up and down the country.

    Communities are being asked to come together and hold street parties, fetes and football matches on what will be the first anniversary of Jo’s death.

    As the Great Get Together will fall in Ramadan this year, rest assured Batley’s diverse community will be standing shoulder to shoulder with each other.

    I will always remember the funeral cortege with Jo’s husband and children being driven past the Masjid where I first met her. Little did I know that it would end in such a way.

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