You & your family
Autumn Statement 2023
23 Nov 2023
On 22 November 2023, Jeremy Hunt delivered the ‘Autumn Statement for Growth’. Against an improving economic backdrop, the Chancellor is keen to stimulate economic growth and highlighted 110 measures for businesses. In addition, there were significant statements relating to National Insurance changes and also the reform of work-related state benefits.
Autumn Statement 2023 Highlights
22 Nov 2023
Against a backdrop of reducing inflation and greater headroom for spending, the Chancellor announced several tax cuts and boosts to business in his ‘Autumn Statement for Growth’.
Spring Budget 2023
16 Mar 2023
The spring Budget 2023, was announced by Jeremy Hunt on 15 March 2023. What the budget means for you.
Guide to pensions on divorce
21 Sep 2020
Guide to Post COVID19 Retirement Planning
21 Sep 2020
Have you reviewed your pension or pensions recently and do you know how much you have saved for your retirement?
If you decide to continue working past the State Pension age, you could be paying unnecessary tax, in some cases up to 40%.
The Pension freedom changes of April 2015 represented a complete shake-up of the UK’s pensions system, giving people much more control over their pension savings than before.
A pension is a long-term investment that helps you build up a pot of money to use for retirement.
Pensions are a tax-efficient way to invest because HMRC adds basic rate (currently 20%) tax relief to your payments.
For example, if you are a basic rate taxpayer and contribute £160, the taxman will add £40 so the total invested is £200.
If you pay higher or additional rates of income tax, you can claim even more tax relief when you complete your annual self-assessment tax return, but this relief is not paid into your plan.
You are limited to the amount you are able to pay into a pension each year. For most people, the annual contribution allowance is £60,000. Prior to April 2023, there was a limit to the amount you could save in a pension which was £1,073,100. Anything over this amount was taxed at up to 55%, however from April 2023, the Chancellor withdrew the lifetime allowance tax charges with a view to abolishing the lifetime allowance from April 2024. However, tax free cash is limited to 25% of £1,073,100 or £268,275, unless you have lifetime allowance protection.
As well as being able to claim tax relief on your pension contributions, pensions are generally not included in your estate for IHT purposes.
We are able to assist with maximising contributions and tax benefits within your pension.
Would you like help planning your pension?
Types of pension
Most pensions are defined contribution schemes, which means that the amount you get back from the plan depends on how much the plan is worth.
The final value of the plan is dependent on a number of factors, including:
- how much you have paid in
- provider charges
- fund performance
- In simple terms, the more you pay in, the more you are likely to get back.
Some people, mainly public sector employees, have defined benefit pensions. The benefits are based on a proportion of your salary rather than the size of the fund you have built up.
There are a number of different ways you can draw benefits from pensions when you reach retirement.
An annuity is an insurer’s promise to pay an income for life for a set price.
There are a number of choices available but the more options you include, the lower the income becomes. This is illustrated in the graph below:
Enhanced annuities are lifetime annuities that are available to people who have suffered health problems that are likely to have an impact on their lifespan. Generally, an enhanced annuity gives a higher income than a standard annuity.
The income from this type of annuity depends on the performance of investments. If the funds chosen do not perform well, then the income will reduce, and over time, there is a danger of the fund being exhausted.
A fixed-term annuity provides a guaranteed level of income for a set period of time. At the end of the term, you will get a set amount of money called a Guaranteed Maturity Amount which you can use to buy another pension product.
Flexi-access drawdown allows you to take the maximum amount of tax-free cash when you start the plan and keep the rest invested. You can draw an income from the plan and also decide to buy an annuity using the remaining value of the fund at a later date.
Phased drawdown allows you to use some of your tax free cash to supplement your income. You only move the amount you need each month into drawdown, then take a withdrawal of income and tax free cash each month. This can help you reduce the income tax you pay on your withdrawals. You also have the option to switch to full drawdown at a later date and draw the remaining tax free cash from the pension fund.
Although these plans offer the most flexibility, withdrawing lots of money could mean that the fund runs out during your lifetime.
The remaining fund can be paid as a tax-free lump sum to your dependants or as a tax-free income if you die before 75. After 75, the fund is taxable at 40% and income is taxed at the recipient’s highest marginal rate.
All UK employers have to provide their employees with a workplace pension and make contributions. Workplace pensions are heavily regulated by the Pensions Regulator and the penalties for non-compliance can be expensive. Ongoing compliance with the rules can also be a major stumbling point for employers.
Speak to a retirement planning expert
We can also help you with
Inheritance tax & estate planning
Without planning, 40% of your estate could be lost to Inheritance Tax when you die. Fortunately, there are many ways to minimise this.
You & your family