According to new research from Key Retirement Solutions, over a quarter of UK workers aged 55 or over feel they will never be in a position to give up working completely for fear of not having sufficient money to live on.

In a survey of more than 3,000 UK adults, one in four of those currently working and over the age of 55 said they will never be able to afford to fully retire , whilst 10 per cent admitted that they will carry on with full-time work for as long as they can.

Of the 55-plus year olds who are still in work, about three quarters said they are still working because of financial reasons.

Dean Mirfin, spokesman for Key Retirement, says: “It is striking to find so many over-55s do not believe they will ever be able to afford to retire and paints a worrying picture of the current state of retirement.

“Of course, many of those planning to work until they drop may be entirely happy about it. But the other side of the coin is that millions are worried about having enough money to survive in retirement and that is a major factor in staying in work. Even those who plan to retire are not entirely certain when they can afford to.”

The Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement that the amount of money you are allowed to earn without paying tax is to be increased to £10,600 in April, £600 more than the current level.

George Osborne said that he hoped to be in a position to increase the limit further, aiming for a figure of £12,500 by 2020.

The Chancellor said the total benefit of all the increases in the personal allowance the coalition has made since 2010 means that people are better off to the tune of £825 per year.

The level of earnings at which the higher-rate income tax of 40% starts will also rise in April to £42,385 from £41,865.

Andrew Hagger, personal finance commentator from MoneyComms, said: “With the economy having turned the corner, the Chancellor is giving some money back to UK consumers. The first uplift in the higher-rate tax threshold since 2009 is another welcome move, with the limit being increased by £520 next year.”

The government has announced that it is to do away with the much criticized ‘single slab’ approach to stamp duty on residential property purchases.

In his Autumn Statement message George Osborne announced that he would be introducing a new tiered charge from 4th December and claimed that “As a result stamp duty will be cut for the 98% of homebuyers who pay it.”

Until now, buyers have had to pay 1 per cent tax on a £250,000 home, but 3 per cent on one costing £250,001, something that many mortgage and property experts have been asking to be changed for years as it was deemed to be unfair.

The revised tiered approach means that from 4 December, the Stamp Duty Land Tax charges will be levied as follows:

  • No tax on the first £125,000 of purchase price;
  • Then 2 per cent on amount up to £250,000;
  • Then 5 per cent up to £925,000;
  • Then 10 per cent up to £1.5m;
  • Then 12 per cent on everything above £1.5m

A new survey claims that over half of people in a relationship don’t know about their partner’s loans, overdrafts or credit card borrowing.

In the worst cases, Experian says that some 6% admit to splitting up because of arguments about finances.

The findings also reveal that relationship breakdowns caused by financial worries are most common in the 25- to 34-year-old age group.

When it comes to how much couples earn, more than two-thirds of respondents know their partner’s annual salary, while only one in four are aware that their partner has received a work bonus.

On a more positive note, more than half of people know how much savings their other half has to their name.

Choice of career is not a big factor in picking a partner either, with only 26% finding their partner more attractive if they had a good career. This was more important for women, with 31% of females admitting a man who pays his bills on time as “much more attractive”, compared to only 19% of males.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is to take a closer look at the credit card market as it feels that it isn’t working in the best interests of all customers.

More than 30 million people in the UK have a credit card but the regulator is worried that products are too complicated and that there’s a lack of competition when it comes to card holders shopping around.

The FCA also said that it intended to investigate issues around unaffordable lending.

It wants to understand “whether particular groups of consumers are over-borrowing or under-repaying their credit card balances and the possible reasons for this, including whether credit cards are marketed in a way that works against the best interests of consumers”.

A spokesman for the FCA said: “The credit card market is well-established and hugely important for UK consumers, who hold around 70% of all credit cards in Europe. We want to make sure that the market works well for all consumers and that cardholders get a fair deal.”

According to a new report from Experian Cyber phishing emails and other forms of cyber-attack are becoming more prevalent as people rely more on the latest smartphones.

The real worry is that many consumers are vulnerable to internet criminals with 60% of smartphone users and almost half of tablet users admit to not having any malware protection installed on their devices.

This is much less of a problem on home PC’s with nine out of ten people using security or anti-virus software installed on their computer.

When asked why they haven’t installed protection software on their phone or tablet, 12% said it was because they thought they were automatically provided with protection, 8% said they thought fraud protection is too expensive, while a third said they weren’t aware that they needed it.

A spokesman for Experian, said: “This year has proved a tipping point for smartphones and tablets. The rapid rise in demand for online banking and retail combined with very little security on devices has created a massive opportunity for cyber criminals leaving many people and businesses extremely vulnerable.

“There are approximately five billion connected devices globally, serving a billion online bank accounts and contributing $13 trillion to global ecommerce sales and transactions. With so much at stake, the opportunities for fraudsters are countless and we need to do more to protect ourselves.”

A new report shows that an extra four million adults are interested in carrying out their banking online for the first time

Statistics released this week by the Payments Council found 70% of people who could use online banking to run their main account already do so, while a further one in ten would be interested in logging-on and accessing banking services online for the first time.

It found that the most common reason for people steering clear of online banking was concerns over security. Only 15% of non-users said they were “very confident” that online banking was safe and secure, while a quarter of people were worried about remembering pin numbers and passwords.

On the flip side, a fifth of those interviewed said they had no interest in using internet banking, while only 16% of those over 65 were interested in using online services.

A spokesman for the Payments Council said: “Checking a balance or sending a quick, secure payment online is something that many of us take for granted and yet millions are potentially missing out because they could do with a bit of extra help or reassurance to get them started.”

“If you haven’t tried internet banking but think you would like to, contact your bank or building society for more information on how to get started.”

A limit has been introduced; restricting the amount payday lenders can charge borrowers from January.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated that Interest rates will be capped at 0.8% of the amount borrowed per day and that no customers will have to pay back more than double the sum they borrowed.

In addition to these measures there will also be a £15 limit on default charges.

The Regulator pointed out that a person borrowing for 30 days, and repaying on time, would not pay more than £24 in fees and interest per £100 borrowed.

Martin Wheatley from the FCA said: “I am confident that the new rules strike the right balance for firms and consumers. If the price cap was any lower, then we risk not having a viable market, any higher and there would not be adequate protection for borrowers.

“For people who struggle to repay, we believe the new rules will put an end to spiralling payday debts. For most of the borrowers who do pay back their loans on time, the cap on fees and charges represents substantial protections.”

Two new long term low rate cards were launched this week from Lloyds Bank (Platinum) at 6.4% APR variable and The Co-operative Bank with 6.9% APR fixed for three years.

Andrew Hagger, personal finance analyst said: “If you’ve got a card in your wallet that charges a low standard interest rate, there’s less financial impact if you can’t repay your full statement balance.”

Hagger calculates that, if you have to carry over a balance of £1,000 to clear your Christmas spending then at 6.4% APR with Lloyds you can clear it in 3 months by paying £336.90 per month, including a total interest charge of just £10.70 whereas a card charging 18.9% APR would cost £31.67 and you’d need to pay back £343.89 per month.

With interest rates predicted to rise in the next year to 18 months experts feel the fixed rate option from Co-operative Bank gives cardholders the added peace of mind that their rate won’t budge until at least the end of 2017.

Hagger added: “ The Lloyds Bank card looks as if it has been strategically priced to top the low rate best buy table, just edging out MBNA at 6.6% APR and Sainsbury’s Bank and Co-op, both at 6.9% APR.”

“The crucial difference between the Lloyds Bank and MBNA card isn’t about the interest rate, but more around the added flexibility that the latter deal offers.”

“Where the MBNA card is unique is that you can transfer funds from the card to your bank account (via a Money Transfer) without a fee.”

“This enables customers to repay expensive personal loan and overdraft borrowing, both of which can charge APRs well into double figures.”

The cost of finance for customers with smaller deposits has hit a new high, according to a new report.

The research from Genworth  shows that the cost of mortgages between 75 and 95 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) is at a nine year high as banks charge first time buyers and those with a small equity stake a record £2,800 a year penalty to secure a home.

Someone with a deposit of 5 per cent is typically being charged an annual rate of 5.27 per cent, while lower risk borrowers with a healthy 35% stake are only paying around 2.46 per cent for a two year mortgage.

The report revealed that since last year almost 100 extra mortgages are now available to those with a 5% deposit, including more than 60 via the Help-to-Buy guarantee scheme.

A spokesman for Genworth said: “Aspiring homebuyers would suffer a huge blow without the options currently available through Help to Buy. There is a long-term need to support high LTV mortgage lending but there are far better solutions than creating a long term burden on the state to do so.”