The government has announced that annual state pension increases will only be guaranteed for the next three years to British pensioners living in Europe. Nearly half a million people living in the EU will be affected in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Under current rules, British pensioners in certain countries such as Australia, Canada and South Africa have their state pension frozen each year, but British pensioners in the EU get annual increases in line with pensioners living in the UK. The UK state pension is uprated by either 2.5%, average wage growth or by prices growth as measured by the Consumer Price Index – whichever is highest. The DWP announced that annual increases will only be guaranteed for the next three years, after which the Government ‘plans to negotiate a new agreement’.
Britain’s property market suffered a sharp fall in the number of transactions made between June and July, as the traditional summer slowdown and growing uncertainty over Brexit dented activity. Figures released by HMRC this morning show a marked reduction in the number of property transactions over the summer months, with a drop of 8.5 per cent in residential transactions between June and July 2019, as well as a 12.4 per cent decrease since July last year.
Five million pension savers could be susceptible to the common tactics used by scammers to steal retirement savings, research suggests. Two-fifths (42%) of 45 to 65-year-olds with a pension could end up putting themselves at risk, according to a survey released by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Pensions Regulator (TPR). Presented with six scam scenarios, they said they would act in one or more ways which could potentially leave them exposed to fraud. This could equate to five million people being susceptible to pension scams if the survey findings were projected across the UK.
UK GDP contracted by 0.2% in Q2 following growth of 0.5% in the first quarter, according to the latest ONS statistics. Its figures show that rolling three-month growth - comparing quarterly GDP with the previous three-month period - contracted for the first time since Q4 2012. Rolling three-month growth was negative 0.2% in June, continuing the steady decline that followed the relatively strong growth seen earlier in the year.
The number of mortgaged properties taken into possession rose by 15% in Q2 compared to the same quarter in 2018, according to the latest data from UK Finance. 1,270 were repossessed in the quarter, however UK Finance says the figure remains "well below the levels seen between 2009 and 2014" and attributed the rise to a backlog of historic cases which are currently being processed. 590 buy-to-let mortgaged properties were taken into possession in the second quarter of 2019, 2% more than in the same quarter of the previous year.