Category Archives: Neston & Beyond

Looking for Ronald Joseph Ellis born 5th April 1929.

Born at 77 Pythian Street in Liverpool to Lizzie Ann Ellis, sometimes Lizzie Anne, also known as Lizzie Jones. Lizzie Anne Ellis (otherwise Jones) later known as Elizabeth Ellis and then Elizabeth Bethune, forewoman in margarine works and later a ship stewardess.

Other children are:

Idris Ellis born January 1925.
Mair Ellis born 1926.
Owen Francis Ellis born 1920.

All four children were informally adopted and so there is no legal adoption record. Ronald’s siblings have managed to trace each other and would dearly love to know what became of Ronald. All four children had different surnames after adoption and it is possible Ronald’s forenames were changed also if he was adopted as an infant. Although Ronald was born in Liverpool, the family ties are North Wales.

There are no legal or financial implications to this search but Mair, now aged aged 88 years, wishes if possible, to be reunited with her brother or be in touch with his family and learn what became of him. The desire is purely one of family ties, and the need to have knowledge of her fuller family before it is too late.

If you have any information that may help in the search please contact me.

Update: March 2016. I am pleased to report that I have now managed to find Ronald’s family, and confirm he had changed his name in the 1950’s. Sadly for his sister, Ronald is no longer with us but she and her family are enjoying getting to know their ‘new’ nieces, nephews and cousins.

John C. Cartlidge.

Neston & Beyond: Happy New (Financial) Year

Yes, it’s arrived, a new financial year, and with it some pretty seismic events anticipated. So, what have you got to look forward to?

Increased Personal Allowance.
This is the amount of income you can receive without paying tax. Increased from £10,000 per annum to £10,600 per annum.

Increased ISA Allowance.
The amount you place in a tax free savings account or investment each year increases from £15,000 to £15,240.

State Pension Increase.
The ‘triple lock’ has kicked in, and so state pensions will increase by an inflation busting 2.5% from this month.

Sorry, I can avoid it no longer. There is an elephant sized shark in the room, and to be honest, I am just pussy footing around it; ‘Pension Freedom’, and I am indebted once again to the late great Groucho Marx:

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

I will not attempt to describe the changes here, they are well publicised already. What I will say however is the political disingenuousness of the changes to pensions is immense and amazingly, the short term nature of governments, and let’s be fair, the great voting public, never fails to astound.

You will be able to read, listen, and watch huge media coverage as pension companies struggle to deal with enquiries. There is even one ‘newspaper’, and I use the term broadly that is bleating on that some pension companies are not even open today, a bank holiday! Then you can watch the media coverage of the savers being misled, or making catastrophic errors of judgement. Then, in no time at all it will be adjudged to be the fault of the pension company, or, wherever cosmically possible, the adviser who set up the plan 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. Said adviser will be dragged from their own retirement to face an ambulance chasing claims management company seeking 30% of the value of the customers government sponsored error.

However, what about ‘Pension Wise’ the much toted ‘pension guidance’ being delivered by Citizens Advice and The Pension Advisory Service, both fine organisations. Well so far, all it appears to be is a catchy title and a slogan. If the press is to be believed, I’d pack in tomorrow. If we take half of the press speculation as something near the truth, between 250,000 and 500,000 might seek such ‘guidance’ this year. Well, get in line, because it has been reported in the whole of the UK, there are only 294 ‘guiders’. So, if every guidance session takes an hour, this would take about 12 months, and then there would the next batch of over 55’s…

Of course, many will not seek ‘guidance’ and just call their pension provider, who will ask some questions in an attempt to make sure you know what you’re doing, but will of course not advise you.

Finally, there are those who will seek advice, and we face another dilemma. In the strangely unregulated world of the financial services regulator, there is no such thing as an insistent client, that is one who the adviser transacts business for at the client’s insistence, even though the advice is not to.

You know, there are people who suffer a condition known as ‘Body Identity Integrity Disorder’ or ‘Body dysmorphic disorder’. Such people in extreme cases feel they would only be happier if a healthy and functional part of their body were to be removed; a leg, and arm, an ear. How dreadful to feel this way. How mad is it some of these people have actually found surgeons plainly barking who will actually perform the surgery at the insistence of the patient.

So, advisers such as I will face clients insisting on making a mistake and what do we do? Refuse? Refer to Pension Wise?

If you’re terminally ill, or burdened with huge debt, or the amount in your pension pot is negligible, then there might be a case for cashing in. Just remember, we are all living far longer than our parents and grandparents, and retirement for many will be 25, 30 or more years.

Think on.

Bye for now.

John.

Disclaimer: ‘Neston & Beyond’ and similar articles written by me are my personal views and the sole aim is to where possible inform, sometimes amuse, occasionally entertain and hopefully, if all else fails, at least be interesting. In no way can any of what you read here be taken as advice of any form, be it parental, lyrical, electrical, prognosticative, desirable, ichthyological, astronomical, factual, governmental, statistical, financial, legal, marital, occupational, political, philatelogical, sociological, incidental, accidental, fiscal, zoological physical, biological, medical, dental, accidental, haberdasherial, cosmological, or tangential.

Neston & Beyond: Budget 2015 Special – How was it for you?

Please be assured, despite my having no lunch today,  no members of the production team where harmed during the writing of this article.

I do wish the press & TV news would just wait until the announcements are made, rather than this childish behaviour of running around speculating as to what we’re going to get, like 5 a year old at  Christmas. Anyway…

There he stood, Guy of Osborne, master of the little red case with the weight of the breath of 303 Tory M.P.s gently pushing at his back, soon to have their employment fates decided in the upcoming election.

Summary.
Some almost funny quips directed at Ed Milliband, some interesting, and dare I say exciting news about savings, increased taxation for the wealthy via the reduced Lifetime Allowance and less taxation for the rest and the threat of a government sponsored IT project to do away with annual tax returns. Must be election year. The news & press will warble on about the big popular announcements, but as ever, I would like to explore with you if I may one of the announcements that seemed to go with neither cheers from the tory side, nor brays from the labour side.

For completeness, the headlines are recorded below, but what about this increased tax for the wealthy?

The reason this was met with silence I suspect is because very few in the house probably understood it or the implications of the announcement. I am sure civil service union heads up and down the land however will soon be boiling with rage.

Why? Well let me explain. If you have a large pension pot, if any benefits you take are derived from a value above the ‘Lifetime Allowance’ there are additional taxes to pay. An extra 25% income tax if you take income, or a 55% tax charge if you take a lump sum. Why will unions be upset? Well if you are a long standing senior public sector worker, whether you are a head teacher on £100,000 or more per annum, or a Council executive, NHS manager Central government mandarin and the like, with higher salaries than most, it is pretty easy to breach the lifetime allowance and incur the tax charges.

An example.
Bernard Appleby is a public sector employee with a salary of £105,000 per annum. He has been a member of the pension scheme throughout his career, and sensibly bought added years so he might attain the full forty years worth of service in to maximise his pension. His annual pension on retirement would be £52,500 plus a lump sum of £157,500*. All right for some. However, if we value these benefits for ‘Lifetime Allowance’ then the figure is £1,207,500, or 20.75% above the new £1m lifetime allowance. So, in addition to paying income tax on his pension like any mere mortal, he will also have to pay an extra £2,723 annual income tax, plus a bite out of his lump sum of just under £18,000. (*There are different scheme specific calculations but the outcome is the same.)

Please check ‘The Guardian’ tomorrow* for further details.

John.

*Other newspapers are available.

Spring Budget 2015 Headlines.

ISA ‘freedom’. Borrowing from your own ISA if you like, but be able to pay it back. Instead of being able to put up to £15,240 in the 2015-2016 tax year into an ISA in total, savers can take out their money and put it back in within the same year, without losing their ISA tax entitlement. The only condition is that the repayment is made in the same financial year as the withdrawal.

Help to Buy – ISA. Similar to its ‘Help to Buy’ programme for homebuyers, the government has announced that savers will be able to open an ISA, save up to £200 a month towards their first home, and the government will boost it by 25%. This is the equivalent of a £50 bonus for every £200 people save, up to £3,000.

Personal allowance. Much pre-released, the tax-free personal allowance would rise to £10,800 in 2016-2017, and £11,000 the year after. The government calculates the increases to the personal allowance from £6,475 in 2010 to £11,000 in 2017-2018 will save a typical taxpayer £905 per year.

Savings allowance. From April 2016, a tax-free allowance of £1,000 (or £500 for higher rate taxpayers) will be introduced for the interest that people earn on savings.
Pension access. Pensioners will be given the freedom to sell their annuity for a cash lump sum. Currently, people who have bought an annuity are unable to sell it without having to pay at least 55% tax on it. From April 2016, the tax rules will change so that people who already have income from an annuity can sell that when they choose and will pay their usual rate of tax they pay on income, instead of 55%.

Abolished: the annual tax return. Millions will have the information HMRC needs automatically uploaded into new digital tax accounts. Please spare us a government IT project.

National Insurance reductions / relief’s for younger workers and abolition of ‘class 2’ national insurance contributions which is paid by the self employed. Single tier taxation draws closer methinks.

Disclaimer: ‘Neston & Beyond’ and similar articles written by me are my personal views and the sole aim is to where possible inform, sometimes amuse, occasionally entertain and hopefully, if all else fails, at least be interesting. In no way can any of what you read here be taken as advice of any form, be it parental, lyrical, electrical, prognosticative, desirable, ichthyological, astronomical, factual, governmental, statistical, financial, legal, marital, occupational, political, philatelogical, sociological, incidental, accidental, fiscal, zoological physical, biological, medical, dental, accidental, haberdasherial, cosmological, or tangential.

Neston & Beyond: The Guided Missive Set to Explode.

Since a vote hungry Chancellor George Osborne declared changes to how pensions can be taken after April 6th 2015, there are some who believe enthusiasm for pensions has increased. At a stretch, and I do mean a stretch, it might even be said pensions have become interesting. Funny thing is, as with most politicians, What the Chancellor says, and what he does, are very different. The big quote from the budget speech was that every person over age 55 with a pension pot would receive free impartial independent advice. Well, he lied, or to be kinder, he mis-spoke, but not of course to boost political capital.

What was written down, but not spoken was all would be able to access free impartial independent guidance, but let’s be honest, few outside the heady world of financial regulation know there is a significant difference between the two. Clearly the chancellor doesn’t, so why should you?

Authorised and regulated ‘advice’ means a person, i.e. a human being, qualified, authorised, regulated, and approved by the Financial Conduct Authority. It helps if they are not in gaol / jail (delete as you wish), speak your language, and have arrangements in place to compensate you if it goes wrong. Ideally, they should also be pleasant and polite fellows, of any gender, with the ability to put in writing, free of gobbledegook, what you should do, what you should not do, what you could have done and why you shouldn’t do it.

‘Guidance’ means a person, or a booklet, or a online interface or ‘app’ to use the modern parlance who will read to you out loud what your pension provider will already have written down for you to read, and then leave you to it. If reading is difficult for you, then this is a valuable service.

In a similar vein to “if you need to ask the price you cannot afford it”, then if you think you need guidance, realistically you probably need advice. Problem is, advice costs money, but guidance resulting in the wrong decision will likely be far more costly. Difference is, you will only have yourself to blame.

Remember, free advice is usually worth what you paid for it, so how does one go about getting ‘guidance’?

The chancellor wants to be seen to be in league with a certain voting demographic against the nasty mean financial services companies so it is not surprising one source is set up by the government, but funded not least by nasty mean financial services companies. Called Pension Wise, it will be available online, over the phone or face-to-face at a local Citizens Advice Bureau. This assumes of course your local Citizens Advice Bureau has not been shut down because of a lack of government funding. The decision you make is still on your own head/wallet.

Pension Wise

The second source is also set up by the government, but funded entirely by nasty mean financial services companies. ‘Money Advice Service’ is not an advice service, but an

information and sometimes ‘guidance’ service set up by Government but entirely funded by a mandatory levy on financial advisers and financial services companies. You see, even the regulator gets confused; because I offer advice, I have to be approved, authorised, qualified, regulated, tipped upside down regularly and inspected, but the ‘Money Advice Service’… No. The decision you make is still on your own head/wallet.

Money Advice Service

A third source is the providers of your pension. If you call and ask to access, draw from or take an annuity from your pension savings, they will be required to question you, and point out the possible failings in the course of action you choose. The decision you make is still on your own head/wallet.

Finally, there is advice, but in the wake of the above, a certain definition does not fall readily to my keyboard. I would not say all paid for advice is worth it, I mean look at how the government was advised on the Royal Mail giveaway, sorry, I mean sell off, and they certainly paid for that twice over.

I suppose all I can say is as you would with any other high value decision. Ask around, shop around maybe, and be certain you understand what you are paying, and what you are getting in return.

Bye for now.

John

Disclaimer: ‘Neston & Beyond’ and similar articles written by me are my personal views and the sole aim is to where possible inform, sometimes amuse, occasionally entertain and hopefully, if all else fails, at least be interesting. In no way can any of what you read here be taken as advice of any form, be it desirable, ichthyological, astronomical, factual, governmental, statistical, financial, legal, marital, occupational, political, philatelogical, sociological, incidental, accidental, fiscal, zoological physical, biological, medical, dental, accidental, haberdasherial, cosmological, or tangential.

Next of Kin & Family Tracing over Christmas & New Year.

Those familiar with what we do know will know we pretty much offer an ‘open all hours’ service, and the same applies over Christmas and New Year. If you need to trace & contact the family of a client, service user or other family member over the forthcoming holiday period, please note the following:

Phone 0151 336 6610, and if not answered leave a voicemail together with a direct dial or mobile reply number.

Email contact@johncartlidge.com detailing who you are looking for or information about your client. Again, please include a either a direct dial or mobile reply number. If you are not going to be readily contactable yourself, please provide an alternative contact e.g. the name of the care home or hospital, the manager name & number, or the contact details for a colleague.

Both of the above will be checked routinely throughout each day and we will respond immediately.

Please note we are normally able to contact hitherto unknown family prior to death or the funeral, but only if we are instructed promptly. If one of your clients is gravely ill, or passes away during this period, please do not wait until after New Year to instruct us to trace family.

 

clocktower 1 B&W