Wealth – In the news

Cautious optimism over 2022 dividend growth

A recent report1 has revealed a dramatic rebound in UK dividends in 2021, increasing 46.1% last year to total £94.1bn. This figure was boosted by a record £16.9bn in special dividends, three times the normal level. Special dividends are non-recurring and usually larger than a typical dividend payment. For 2022, the report expects underlying growth of 5% to bring total payouts to £81bn, with banks and oil companies expected to be the main contributors. Expectations are that special dividends are likely to be much lower this year. Despite headwinds such as inflation and new COVID variants, Managing Director of Corporate Markets EMEA at Link Group Ian Stokes believes, “The recovery in UK dividends is not complete, but the easiest part of the catch up is now behind us… As the pandemic continues, it would be easy to take a knife to our expectations for dividends for the coming year. We are, however, cautiously optimistic that most sectors can deliver growth.”

Huge numbers risking a double tax hit on their pension

Data from the Financial Conduct Authority2 shows that the number of pension pots accessed for the first time in 2020/21 totalled 596,080; the number fully withdrawn totalled 341,404. Only 33% of consumers taking money from their pension for the first time took regulated advice. People cashing in pension pots without taking advice could be putting themselves at risk of paying more tax, and those cashing in pots in one go could pay up to 45% Income Tax on part of their withdrawal, while also losing Inheritance Tax protection.

1Link Group, 2022

 2FCA, Dec 2021

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.

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