Insights and Advice

Small Business Tax Reduced, Gross-up Factor and Dividend Tax Credit Adjusted

Budget 2015 proposed a phased-in two-percent small business tax rate reduction, and to ensure similar rate of total tax paid by those who earn income through a corporation versus those who do not, the dividend gross-up factor and Dividend Tax Credit (DTC) will be adjusted as follows:

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Small Business Tax Rate % 11 10.5 10 9.5 9
Dividend Gross-up % 18 17 17 16 15
Dividend Tax Credit % 11 10.5 10 99.5 9

Commuting a
 Pension Plan

By Garry Keiller, The Nakamun Group, Edmonton

Some defined benefit pension plans offer the option, under certain circumstances, such as retirement or termination of employment prior to age 55, to transfer a lump sum value to an individual retirement account. This lump sum payout is the “commuted value”, and is the present value of future expected pension payments. Read More…

The Ups and Downs of
 Oil Prices

By Greg Farries, BSC, Calgary

In June 2014, the price of oil was comfortably above $100 a barrel. Since then, the price has declined by approximately 50 percent, largely due to a classic supply/demand imbalance. New technology has enabled record global production, creating oil inventories in the US unparalleled in 80 years. The precipitous drop in prices has caused oil companies around the world to cut their capital spending. In Alberta alone, oil companies have cut their planned 2015 expenditures by more than $20 billion. Read More…

A Lifetime Decision

By Floyd Murphy, CFP, CLU, CHFC,
The Nakamun Group, Vancouver

Selecting the optimum option offered by a defined benefit pension plan is worthy of the angst the process often causes. This is a decision that, once made, cannot be changed, and will affect the income of a pensioner, and where applicable, spouse, for the rest of their lives. Read More…

Everyone’s Pension Plan/Life Annuity

By Floyd Murphy, CFP, CLU, CHFC,
The Nakamun Group, Vancouver

Every qualifying Canadian has at least one life annuity, thanks to the Federal Government’s Old Age Security (OAS) program. Most also have a Canada Pension Plan (CPP). OAS pays an indexed monthly income (life annuity) to everyone, and ceases the day you die. CPP income depends on the amount contributed during a lifetime of work, and offers some flexibility and survivor benefits, a form of a joint and last survivor life annuity.

For most Canadians, OAS and CPP are the foundation on which to build retirement income.

Pension Plans Vary 

By Shauna Blackburn-Cook, BCom 

The Nakamun Group, Edmonton

An employer-sponsored pension plan is not a one-size-fits-all employee benefit. Depending on the type of plan, at some point, each member has an opportunity to customize the options to best meet their circumstances. Read More…

Avoiding Chaos Amongst Survivors

By Floyd Murphy, CFP, CLU, CHFC, The Nakamun Group, Vancouver

When somebody dies, family and friends want to do something to help the closest loved one(s), and with the best of intentions can inadvertently cause estate chaos. An action-oriented relative might take on notifying the deceased’s banks, others might contact credit card companies, insurance holders, and government agencies. In the pressure of the moment, the closest survivor might reveal financial information not normally shared with others, and later regret having done that. As helpful as these people mean to be, they could create unnecessary problems or leave tasks only partially completed without follow-up. Having an executor doesn’t prevent this kind of chaos.

Read More…

Preparing For Your 2014 Tax Return

By Garry Keiller, The Nakamun Group, Edmonton

Hoping for an early refund, many people file their income tax return in March, and then have to file an amendment when more information arrives in the mail in April.

Read More…

Beware… A Life Insurance Scam

By R.A. (Bob) Challis, CFP, RHU, TEP,  The Nakamun Group, Winnipeg

A new scam has surfaced in Canada. Anyone who owns, plans to purchase, or even has no interest whatsoever in life insurance can be targeted. Be suspicious of anyone offering to pay your premiums for life insurance or give you money in connection with a life insurance application. There are catches.

Read More…

A Look Back… and a Look Forward

By Greg Farries, BSC, The Nakamun Group, Calgary

In 2014, interest rates continued their long-term decline, with ten-year Government of Canada bonds ending the year with a yield at about two percent. Equity markets continued to rise from their lows in 2009.

This all happened against a backdrop of mounting concerns about economic growth in Europe, sliding oil and gold prices, a slowing China, a floundering Japan, the end of quantitative easing in the US, the emergency of ISIS in the Middle East, and rising fears regarding the outbreak of Ebola.

So what’s ahead?

Read More…