Aim for UK’s Volunteer Network

This video show one of the UK’s one-stop-shop volunteer networks. They connect with your perfect volunteering opportunity.

The Jewish Volunteering Network aims are to:

  • Bring volunteers and volunteering opportunities together
  • Support charitable organizations who serve the Jewish community
  • Develop corporate responsibility programmes in the business community
  • Do something great today…. become a volunteer!

Benefits and Drawbacks of Lump Sum Pension

When it comes to collection of pension, retirees have to take a decision for the mode of payment. The most commonly chosen option is the monthly payment option for life. And some prefer to collect the whole amount from the pension. Even if immediate fulfillment can be tempting, it is not always the best idea to take a lump sum amount. In some situations, the slump sum payout can be the best option. You may need money to cover some pressing necessities like medical expenses that may require huge expenditures, and pension may be your only source of covering the cash requirement.

Another reason that supports the lump sum option is the chance of decrease in the interest rates in pension. With an assumption of lower interest rates, the pension requires more money to be injected into it by the employer. In some cases the option of lump sum payment can be more than the value offered by monthly pension income. This is especially true with some management pension schemes in which employers give highly low interest rates for future.

A lump sum payout can be a better option in case the retiree doubts that the employer can survive for a long period. Pensions that are underfunded by companies have more chances of failing. Even if federal guaranty schemes cover failed corporate pensions, the benefits from such schemes are low.

Even if the federal guaranty body pays out the benefits for a corporate pension option that fails, the maximum limits are far smaller than those offered initially by the employer. For instance, a pension that fails in 2012 can give a peak monthly benefit of $ 4,000 for an individual aged 65 along with survivor benefits. But it can be only $1,900 for individuals aged 55 having survivor benefits.

The employees of companies like Olivier International, EarthWell or the US Air and the United incurred heavy reductions in their monthly benefit when their pension plans were covered by the federal guaranty body.

In order to delay taxes with a lump sum, you can fix the lump sum amount that is not required immediately into a retirement account that is tax deferred, like an IRA. If you do not roll the lump sum to an IRA, you are most likely to pay the taxes at high tax rates levied by both state and federal governments for the size of the lump sum disbursement.

On the contrary, a monthly payment option for entire life is taxed at a far lower rate since it is spread out over a number of years.

With some public pension schemes, some part of the account is held by the employer. When a lump sum amount is taken away by the retiree, he/she is not entitled to get refund on the employer portion. Based on the performance of the investment of the pension, the employer part varies from one year to another. In case the investment results go down, employer gets a larger portion in the pension.

The benefit with government pensions is that they give generous benefits like half survivor benefits and cost of living allowance that are not available with insurance annuity unless the lump sum costs are highly exceeded. Most of these benefits are supported by the employer portion which is non-refundable.

Those in generous government pensions should never take a lump sum, but of course not all government pensions are generous.

The Canadian Economy

Canada, the second-largest nation on Earth, has one of the strongest economies on the planet and is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Currently, it has the 11th-largest economy in the world, is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the Group of Seven.

The largest industry in Canada is the service industry, which employs 75 per cent of the population. One unusual aspect of the Canadian economy is that the primary sector is one of the most important, with logging and oil being two of the most important industries in the country. Canada also has a huge manufacturing industry, making automotive and aircraft for the rest of the world. Thanks to having the longest coastline of any country, Canada has the eighth largest commercial fishing and seafood industry in the world. In terms of high-tech, Canada is one of the global leaders in the entertainment software industry.

The facts and figures

Currently, Canada’s GDP is estimated at $1.825 trillion, with a GDP growth of two per cent. The per capita GDP is $51,989, which puts it ninth in the world. Inflation is low at 1.2 per cent, and the number of people below the poverty line is very low, at 9.4 per cent. The labour force of the country is 18.89 million people, with 75 per cent working in the service industry, 13 per cent in manufacturing, 4 per cent in other, six per cent in construction and two per cent in agriculture.

Unemployment is also very low, sitting at 6.9 per cent.

Currently, Canada exports $462.528 billion in goods, ranging from cars and planes to wood pulp and natural gas. The main export partner is by far the United States, with 73.2 per cent, followed by the EU, EK, China, Germany and Israel, which range from three to four per cent. Canada imports $474.544 billion, with half of all imports coming from the United States, and 11 per cent from China.

Economic Outlook

When the world fell into the recession of the late 2000s, Canada was one of the strongest economies and continued to be so. The housing market did not fall to the extent of the United States, and the economy continued doing strong throughout the roughest patches. As a result, Canada became one of the few countries to not see a decline during the recession.

How is it doing now though?

According to the Bank of Canada, the financial outlook for Canada is looking quite good. In a survey of 100 firms, it showed that the hiring intentions of these firms is the most positive it has been in two years because of higher sales and better prospects for the companies. Only eight per cent of those surveyed believed they would be reducing staff.

Canadian firms are seeing an increase in orders from both international and domestic customers, and 53 per cent of those surveyed said they expect to be hiring more staff within the next 12 months.

It is not just in Canada where people believe things will improve. The International Monetary Fund recently upgraded the economic forecast of the country thanks to the improving economy of the United States. According to the IMF, the Canadian economy is expected to grow around 2.3 per cent this year, up from two per cent the previous year. This is 10 per cent higher than what the forecast in January of 2014 was. The 2015 prediction is 2.4 per cent.

The housing market in Canada is also doing well. While new housing starts fell by 18 per cent in March of 2014, this shows that there will be a soft landing of the housing market, not a steep correction. Even the Canadian dollar is doing well, trading at 91.56 cents against the United States dollar.

With higher amounts of U.S. jobs, the Canadian economy will continue to grow stronger and move forward.

One major reason why the Canadian economy continues to do well is because of the Alberta economy. As one of the largest oil producers in the world, Alberta is also one of the strongest economies on Earth. The per capita GDP of Alberta is by far the highest in Canada at $74,825. It is one of the highest per capita GDP figures in the world (ranking seventh in the world), and it is also higher than all the states in the United States.

As long as the economy of Alberta continues to surge along with the economies of the other provinces like Saskatchewan, where unemployment is 5.5 per cent, the Canadian economy will continue to do well.

UK Job Market

As with most countries in the Western World, the United Kingdom has seen its fair share of hits in the job market over the past few years. Currently, the unemployment rate is quite high for the country, but things seem to be improving for the most part.

Unemployment

Every three months, the Labour Force Survey asks 53,000 households their employment status. This helps to create a picture of unemployment for the country. The highest level ever seen for unemployment was 11.9 per cent in April of 1984 (outside of the Great Depression), while the lowest level of unemployment was in December of 1974 when it hit 3.4 per cent. Today, roughly 7.1 per cent, or 2.32 million people, are without work in the United Kingdom.

The Job Market Today

After several years of hard times for the UK job market, things have begun to improve with vacancies in the UK job market rising faster than at any point over the past 15 years. In addition, starting salaries have reached their highest levels in six years. This is seen as an indication of growth across the public and private sector in the country.

Things are especially good in London, which has nearly 10 times the vacancies of any other UK city. According to all reports, the London job market while other cities are rising at a much slower pace, or are in a slight decline. A study done on the rise in vacancies found that for every public sector job created in London, two were lost in other cities in the country.

Significant numbers of jobs have been created in private firms in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Liverpool, helping to offset the impact of the cuts in the public sector.

From 2010 to 2012, there were 216,000 private sector jobs and 66,300 public sector jobs created in London. Comparing this with Glasgow, it was found that that city had losses of 7,800 and 6,800 respectively. Other cities that saw jobs created by private companies included Nottingham with 8,900, Brighton with 6,400 and Aberdeen with 4,900. All three of these cities were hit with public sector cuts though, hurting employment numbers there.

Employment Trends

In the UK, there are several employment trends that are being seen in the country. For one, a new type of jobseeker is being seen. These jobseekers do not have secure and predictable career paths. Instead, they are looking for choice, flexibility and a greater sense of opportunity. These jobseekers are not looking at their employer for job security as most have learned to trust themselves, not the company. The greatest loyalty comes from their own career development.

As for who is hiring, it seems that the health and retail sector are the two biggest employers in the UK and both have remained quite steady. The growth in technology has helped to create a boom for IT jobs, with one million specialty roles advertised.

As has already been mentioned, London is seeing a high amount of growth compared to other job markets in other cities.

Unemployment should continue to fall. From October to December of 2013, the unemployment numbers were at about 2.32 million, which was down 125,000 from what it was in July to September of 2013. In 2013, 30.2 million British subjects were employed, an increase of 396,000 over the previous year.

Another bright spot for the job market is the fact that the number of British citizens collecting unemployment benefits (a wide range of benefits) fell to 1.22 million, down 27,600.

Things are not totally rosy for the future though. Wages, adjusted for inflation, have continued to fall. Between 2009 and 2013, real monthly wages only increased two times, and no more than by four per cent. In every other month, the wage levels fell. In early 2009, wages fell by 10 per cent when adjusted for inflation. In December of 2013, it fell by .5 per cent when compared with one year previous.

Overall, things are moving up from what was seen in 2013. In April of last year, there were 30 people for nearly every job in some locations and a new Tesco store opening in Hampshire received 4,300 applications for only 150 jobs.

 

Things are beginning to improve in the United Kingdom as the UK job market slowly moves back up after the recession that hit the world in 2006-2008. While there are still many without employment, numbers are well down the record numbers seen 30 years ago, and should keep climbing back up over the coming months and years.