The pension tax relief system is about to be reinvented. The Government announced in the Summer 2015 Budget their intention to cut pensions tax relief for high earners by introducing a tapered annual allowance from 6 April 2016 for individuals with income (including the value of any pension contributions) of over £150,000, and who have an income (excluding pension contributions) in excess of £110,000. The rate of reduction in the standard annual allowance of £40,000 is by £1 for every £2 that the adjusted income exceeds £150,000, up to a maximum reduction of £30,000.
Having a clear understanding of your protection requirements and the importance of getting the right professional financial advice as you enter the New Year are essential, and they will be of increasing significance from April when working age welfare support for mortgage interest and bereavement benefits are scheduled for reform.
To minimise the tax you pay, it’s important to be fully aware of the choices you can make before you make them, so planning ahead and taking professional financial advice is essential. With real-terms tax increases the prospect for the foreseeable future, it makes sense to utilise every available tax relief.
Setting goals for saving and investing
Forget the headlines about post–pension freedoms with retirees spending their nest egg on a Lamborghini – new research shows that 2.4 million UK grandparents have either withdrawn money from their pension to support their grandchildren or plan to in the future.
From April this year, the notional 10% tax credit on dividends is to be abolished and will be replaced by a new tax-free Dividend Allowance. The Dividend Allowance means that you won’t have to pay tax on the first £5,000 of your dividend income, no matter what non-dividend income you have.
Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Spending Review and Autumn Statement on Wednesday 25 November 2015. For the first time in this Parliament, he did not announce any further radical changes to the private pensions system, giving the Treasury more time to digest the Green Paper consultation from the summer Budget.
People who go abroad for over a month will no longer be eligible for pension credit. At present, housing benefit and pension credit recipients can go abroad for up to 13 weeks while continuing to receive payouts.