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Penny has considerable experience in all pension matters, with a particular focus on advising companies, international firms and their pension trustees, on their UK pension arrangements. Penny also has extensive experience of advising charities on their pension arrangements and high net worth individuals on the 2015 pension flexibilities.
"The 'amazingly good' Penny Cogher of Irwin Mitchell has strong experience advising companies and trustees on a broad range of pensions matters." - Chambers & Partners 2016
“Penny Cogher’s advice is always well thought out and she has an excellent grasp of pension legislation” - Chambers & Partners 2014
“Penny Cogher provides practical advice based on solid knowledge of the client’s industry and the relevant areas of the law, while taking into account business needs” - Legal 500 2013
"The Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill contains some useful provisions. At the micro level, councils currently make excessive use of pre-commencement conditions, often in circumstances where they are unnecessary. We regularly see consents with more than a dozen such conditions. Since each must be signed off before a lawful start can be made, the developer is at the mercy of the least efficient council or stakeholder officer determining any one of the applications to discharge the conditions. But we will need to see the legislation to see if it will be effective.
"It is difficult to get excited about a “National Infrastructure Commission”. At the end of the day, the level of infrastructure we invest in (and whether the nation can afford to do it, or not to do it) is essentially a political decision. We have seen with the on-going, and still unresolved, debate over South East airport capacity that kicking the can down the street to an independent body – however well qualified - only delays the date of that political decision.”
“We are working harder and living longer than ever before, making it all the more important to keep our hard earned pension money secure. Following the changes to pension rules in April 2015, it is now easier to take your pension money as a cash lump sum, which in turn has led to a rise in inventive and ever changing pension scams and mis-selling.
“Pensioners should be suspicious of any schemes that promise high returns because they usually come with greater risk. They should be wary of schemes that look just too good to be true. If an investor has been the victim of mis-selling they should first complain to the Ombudsman, and it may also be possible to pursue a claim against the advisers or scheme administrators.”
“In the light of the 2016 budget changes, there is now something for young people to get excited about with the new Lifetime ISAs to be launched from April 2017.
“Having a tax-efficient, state sponsored, way of saving for a flat or house is much more relevant to many people than saving for a pension - but their primary concern remains paying off their student debt. This means that workers in their twenties, and also their thirties, have probably not studied quite how the new state pension will work for them and the position currently seems to be that it won’t work in their favour.
“The Pensions Policy Institute has calculated that these people will lose out most with the new state pension – possibly by thousands of pounds. However, I detect a certain cynicism among them. They seem resigned to being unable to retire until extreme old age and not at all sure that when they do so the state pension will even exist at that time and certainly not in its current form.
“This view is encouraged by the fact that before the new state pension has even come into operation there have been various reviews launched on it by the Work and Pensions Committee, including looking at its intergenerational fairness, as well as an independent review, required by statute to be conducted each Parliament as to when state pension age should be.”
“It won’t just be the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaigners who are aggravated about the quality of the communication, or lack of it, as regards changes to the state pension.
“The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee’s 8th Report for 2015/16 concludes the Government has not made it “sufficiently clear” that most people retiring on the new state pension will not receive the new weekly flat rate of £155.65.
“Pension communication, as most employers and providers know, is not easy. The Government must tell it as it is, not as it wants it to be –adopting a headline approach isn’t helpful for pensions and it can be downright misleading.”