In addition to the drop in our cash holdings there's also been enough market turbulence to do this to our investment portfolios and I expect there's more to come:
|SIPP / CIS Pension||£34,771.05||0.00%||-1.80%||5.80%|
Luckily I think we can ride it out as (apart from my SIPP) we don't need these funds any time soon.
Yesterday I sent in my official request to be considered for Voluntary Redundancy in April 2016. My manager needs to cut between 9 and 12 people from the team over the next two years. Chatting with my colleagues suggests that there's not going to be a shortage of applicants. It's not a happy place to work any more, the cuts in services are depressing and demoralising and public sector wage increases are set to be capped at 1% for the next 4 years.
However, I have reason to believe that I may be fairly near the front of the queue as I have a niche job providing a specialist service that could be delivered totally differently (i.e. outsourced) or supported at a much less responsive level. The public who depend on it (who are incidentally some of the most disadvantaged members of society) would no doubt notice the difference, but needs must when the devil drives :-)
As I mentioned in my last post, redundancy would be a financial godsend to me and the figures I have been supplied with regarding the payout I could expect are even better than expected. I would be entitled to £24,000 redundancy payment plus immediate access to my pension unreduced. I'm not counting my chickens yet (although I have of course made contingency plans on what to do with the money :-)) but I am increasing my AVC contributions to the maximum allowed (50% of gross monthly salary) just in case. Pre-2014 LGPS AVCs can be taken completely tax free (this perk has been removed for anyone starting to pay in after March 2014), so boosting this fund is a better option than paying any more into my SIPP as, if I do get immediate access to my LGPS pension, anything I take out of the SIPP, over and above the TFLS, will put me over the tax threshold. The only risk is that if I don't get VR and have to revert to plan A, I won't be able to get hold of the AVCs until I take my main pension. This may make things a little more difficult to manage for a couple of years as I will have run our cash reserve right down and getting flexible access to my CIS FSAVC isn't as straightforward as I thought, but I think it's worth taking the chance.
So now it's just a waiting game to see if I'm one of the "lucky" ones. We should know by the beginning of December as they have to allow for the 3 month notice period. It might be a very jolly Christmas.
(Oh, and we won £25 on our Premium Bonds too - bonus :-))