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Campaign hitting the road to deliver message to National Highways

SAVE Rimrose Valley campaigners are hitting the road on Friday, 26 August 2022, in the latest action to highlight their opposition to National Highways' controversial A5036 Port of Liverpool Access Road proposal. They will travel from Sefton in Merseyside to Manchester before marching to National Highways' Regional headquarters in the City Centre. Young supporters of the campaign will hand over letters and materials produced by local School children, requesting that plans to bulldoze Rimrose Valley Country Park be cancelled. This latest protest follows last year's mass demonstration at the Port of Liverpool itself, which saw around 1,000 people turn out to demand that the port access road be cancelled. Already years behind schedule, National Highways recently confirmed that the scheme has been delayed by a further 12 months whilst it carries out new traffic surveys.

Speaking ahead of the demonstration on behalf of Save Rimrose Valley, Stuart Bennett said:- "We're really excited to be taking our message direct to National Highways. We'll be calling in on our friends at outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, who have supported our work for several years. We'll then march through Manchester City Centre to hand over some amazing letters and pictures prepared by local Schoolchildren. These show just how much they care about Rimrose Valley so we hope they will strike a chord with senior management at National Highways. There are a handful of seats remaining on the coach, so if anyone wants to join us, they need to book quickly. This will be a positive and fun day out for old and young alike, but we'll be delivering a serious message. It is completely unacceptable to be trashing a country park to enable more HGVs and traffic on our roads. We need better solutions which respect our local environment, our communities, our health and wellbeing and the planet. Roads do none of these things. Continued delays to this project are an indication of just how unpopular it has become, but we must keep up the fight until this scheme is cancelled."

For more details on the action, including how to register for a seat on the coach from South Sefton in Merseyside, head to:- Eventbrite.Co.UK7.

Pensions are safer than houses for retirement saving

TWICE as many workers see occupational or personal pensions as a safer way of saving for retirement than property investment, new analysis from Handelsbanken Wealth and Asset Management shows. 57% of retirement savers who are still working believe pensions are the most secure retirement saving method, compared with 25% who chose property and 14% who opted for ISAs, stocks and shares and saving accounts, according to Handelsbanken Wealth Management and Asset Management's analysis of the latest Government data.

Those relying on property as their biggest source of income in retirement are even fewer; just 11% of those who are not retired expect it to be their most important source of income when they stop working. That compares with 46%, who think their main income will be from their occupational or private pension.

Some 23% believe their State Pension, benefits, or Tax Credits will be their largest source of income, while 12% think it will be their savings, investments, earnings, income from a business or sale of a business.

The data shows the number of people saving into pensions has risen to a new record high of 21.8 million after an increase of 40%; or 6.1 million; in the past decade, with most of this growth coming from new savers into defined contribution pensions.

Auto enrolment, which was launched in 2012 and made enrolment into workplace pensions automatic, has boosted the number of defined contribution pension holders to 9.9 million, from 2.8 million, while the number of savers with defined benefit; or final salary; schemes has grown by 1.5 million to 8.8 million.

That has cut the number of people below State Pension Age who do not have a workplace or private pensions by 14% or 2.6 million in a decade, but there are still major issues for those who do not contribute. Nearly a third (29%) say they have too many other expenses, bills and debts or simply cannot afford a pension, while more than (54%) say their income is too low, they are not working, or are still in education.

Christine Ross, Head of Private Office (North) and Client Director at Handelsbanken Wealth and Asset Management said:- "It's great to see confidence in pensions growing, with people rating them as the best way to save for retirement. More importantly, the number of people who are saving into pensions is increasing. It's vital to use all of the tax-efficient options available to create a flexible retirement plan, as well as trying to start saving as early as possible, with the earliest savings having the longest period of time to grow. Employers are now obliged to make contributions for their staff, which helps many savers get on the retirement planning ladder. Some company pension schemes even offer additional 'matching' contributions if the employee pays more than the minimum. That can be as good as a pay rise and the money will grow, tax free, in the pension scheme for many years."

Company pension schemes of course do not apply to the Self Employed; and Handelsbanken Wealth Management and Asset Management's analysis shows there is a greater reliance on property for retirement among those who work for themselves.

69% of over 55's below State Pension age own a property, but that rises to 81% among the Self Employed in that age group. And 25% of those that are Self Employed in this age bracket own other properties in addition to their home compared to just 15% of those who are employed.


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