Financial Advice

  As an independent financial adviser (IFA), you have been asked to write a series of articles for publication in a solicitors? practice?s quarterly magazine, aimed at individuals with higher levels of earnings.

The editor of the magazine has asked that your article focuses on how higher rate and additional rate taxpayers can take advantage of the pension reforms which became effective in April 2015. An overview of retirement options should be provided, along with worked practical examples. Additionally, it is expected that some commentary should be provided on the benefits and drawbacks of utilising the new so-called pension freedoms.
Your report should be presented in an appropriate style and should use appropriate technical language. The report should include any supporting calculations to underpin your considerations; you are required to provide a comprehensive discussion on the subject and must provide a clear Executive Summary.

(75 marks maximum) – 60 marks are available for the content of the article and
15 marks are available for the communication and presentation style.
Note: Coursework responses for the Main Task must not exceed 4,000 words. The assignment has been developed to be answerable within this word count and words over this maximum will not be marked. If you choose to quote from any sources in the Main Task, these will count towards the maximum word count. You should ensure that any quotes used are clearly identified as such, enclosed in double quotation marks, with the source in brackets afterwards, eg: ?The inheritance tax thresholds?..? ( Further referencing guidance is available on the course site. There is no minimum number of words. It is left to the judgement of each candidate, depending on the structure and content of their answer, as to how many words they use up to the maximum limit to formulate their response.

Short Answer Questions
Question 1
Georgina, aged 78, is single and has no close relatives. She is reviewing her long term care planning options and is considering the various forms of equity release that are available.
List the advantages of Georgina taking out a lifetime mortgage with the interest rolled-up rather than a full home reversion plan. (5 marks)

Question 2
List the disadvantages of investing directly in commercial freehold property rather than residential freehold property. (5 marks)

Question 3
State the reasons why a retired, 60 year old additional rate taxpayer should consider investing in a unit trust rather than an offshore investment bond. (5 marks)

Question 4
Kiera is self-employed, aged 30 and single. She is a higher-rate taxpayer and is looking to start saving for her retirement, for the first time. She currently has no pension policies or Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs).
State the advantages and disadvantages of her taking out a personal pension policy, when compared with an ISA for retirement planning purposes. (10 marks)    

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