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What is Business Protection? 
Research suggests that just 4% of business owners have Business Protection cover in place even though:

* 69% say losing a key individual would have the biggest impact on their business.
* 29% say they would cease trading within 3 months – and 44% within a year.
* 47% have nothing in place to establish what would happen in the event of the death of a business owner.

Death of a Business Partner

On the death of one of the partners in a firm, the beneficiaries of that partner (usually a spouse or family member) may wish to withdraw his/her share of the partnership’s value. This can cause problems for the remaining partners because it might mean that they will have to sell partnership assets to pay the deceased partners family. One solution would be for the partners to insure against the death of each partner – in order to buy out their share.

Death of a Key Employee

The death of an important employee, especially in a small company, may have a devastating effect on a company’s profits. A company may wish to insure against the death of such key employees.

Death of a small Business Shareholder

Small businesses usually have a small number of share holders (often family members, relatives or friends). Surviving shareholders in a small business will probably thus want to buy shares of a deceased shareholder to prevent the shares from going out of the close circle of existing shareholders.

Business Protection helps businesses carry on trading if a key member of staff, shareholder or director dies or contracts a critical illness during the term of the plan.

Contact us if you want to ensure that your business is fully protected.

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Personal Accounts/NEST – The story so far… 
The Pensions Commission found that between 9.6 and 12 million people were undersaving based on the benchmarks they set out. In order to deal with this issue, the Government will be introducing a national pension savings scheme as from April 2012. The scheme was initally known as the ‘personal accounts’ scheme but is now called the ‘National Employment Savings Trust’ or simply ‘NEST’

Employees and employers will be forced to contribute to a NEST account on behalf of the employee, unless the employee chooses to opt out.

Under this new scheme, all employees will be automatically included in a NEST scheme unless their employer already offers a suitable alternative pension scheme. Importantly employees will be forced to contribute 4% of band earnings and employers will have to contribute 3%. A further 1% will be paid in the form of tax relief meaning that a total contribution of 8% of band earnings will need to be paid into the NEST scheme.

Employers must contribute 3% of band earnings, currently described as 3% of employee earnings between £5,000 and £33,500. Employers will be able to phase this in, starting at 1% in 2012, 2% between 2016 - 2017, and 3% by October 2017. In addition, each employer will need to offer an auto-enrolment facility for all members of staff which will need to be in place by the beginning of the 2012 tax year.

Employees will need to contribute 4% of salary, unless they elect to opt-out of the scheme, while HMRC will contribute a further 1% by way of tax relief.

Small employers with fewer than 50 workers will not have to take part in the scheme until sometime between March 2014 and February 2016.

Employers must give new staff basic information about the scheme and staff must be enrolled within a month of starting work. Employees will then be given a further month to decide whether to opt-out.

Employers who already offer employees a pension scheme will have to ensure that their existing scheme is a Qualifying Workplace Pension.

Employers that do not currently offer employees a pension scheme, or those whose schemes do not pass the scheme exempt test and are therefore not considered to be qualifying workplace pension schemes will have to act to comply.

Many details regarding NEST accounts are yet to be finalised and we will aim to keep you posted with the latest developments.


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