Pick of the Pundits: Serps sums to be done again: Experts on the different aspects of personal finance talk to Vivien Goldsmith and Maria Scott about the prospects for 1993 as signs of recovery grow firmer: Jonathan Phillips

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The Independent Online
Jonathan Phillips, a director of The Wyatt Company, actuaries and benefit consultants, reminds people that the National Insurance rebates paid by the Department of Social Security to people who contracting out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (Serps), will be reduced from April.

This means that the ages below which it is advantageous to contract out of Serps will come down. People already contracted out of Serps should note the new age limits as they are the signal for them to contract back in.

Wyatt calculates that from April, men below 42 and women below 32 should be contracted out. Men aged from 42 to 48 and women between 32 and 41 should possibly contract out depending on their personal views about investment returns versus likely benefits from Serps. Men over 48 and women over 41 should not be contracted out.

Mr Phillips adds: 'The fifth anniversary of the introduction of personal pensions will be 1 July 1993. The Inland Revenue will require people making contributions to personal pensions over and above the basic National Insurance rebate, to complete a form confirming that they are still eligible to hold the plan. Failure to do this within 30 days of the expiry of the five years will mean that the insurer will stop accepting pensions contributions from the policyholder. People with the rebate-only pensions will not be affected, however.

'Personal pension companies should be sending out the relevant forms to those affected.

'On a broader front, the year should bring a decision from the Government on the way it intends to bring the retirement age for men and women into line. There will also be recommendation's from Professor Roy Goode's committee on how to prevent another Maxwell disaster.'

(Photograph omitted)

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