Hicks blog

Free retirement guidance should be independent

There is widespread support for government proposals to provide free retirement guidance but more than half of over-55s think it should come from an independent, consumer body.


More than half (53%) of people are now saving adequately for retirement, according to a survey by Scottish Widows.

IT and digital support for SMEs

SMEs can now apply for IT and digital support worth up to £2,000, after the UK IT Association (UKITA) joined the government’s Growth Voucher programme.

Small firms rely on planning not luck

Luck does not play a big role in a firm’s success according to nearly three quarters of small business owners, research by software provider Sage has found.

Banks ‘average’ for a third of small firms

More than a third of small business owners describe their current banking services as ‘average’ yet only a fifth would consider moving their account, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has found.

Economic growth continues

UK economic output grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Your Money

New personal tax statement for 24 mn people

Auto enrolment increases pension membership

The percentage of private sector employees in a workplace pension scheme increased from 26% in 2011 to 35% in 2013, according to research commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Unemployment falls to 6.9%

The unemployment rate fell by 77,000 to 2.24 million between December 2013 and February 2014, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The official unemployment rate now stands at 6.9%, the lowest since February 2009.

Employment law changes in effect

A number of changes to employment rules and regulations came into force with the start of the new financial year on 6 April.