Budget Briefing

The budget was delivered on Wednesday and the announcements have a far reaching impact on all of us.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, presented his fifth Budget to Parliament on 19 March 2014. This year’s statement was made against a backdrop of more promising growth figures and generally more confidence in the economy than there was perhaps twelve months ago. However, there remains considerable pressure on public finances in the UK, as the Coalition Government continues to wrestle with the unprecedented fiscal deficit.

This Technical Briefing looks at the major changes announced as far as they impact our clients, both individual and corporate.

 Key Points 

Pensions 

There are some further changes to the pension’s regime from 27 March 2014 as follows:-

In addition, from April 2015 there will be a major overhaul of flexibility in the pensions regime when it seems that the concept of capped and flexible drawdown will disappear with all benefits being available at an individual’s marginal rate of income tax once he or she reaches minimum pension age.

Quest Financial Solutions - Comment

The changes to the pension’s regime will give savers greater flexibility and, from April 2015, will avoid the need for anyone to have to buy an annuity at a time when rates are at a historic low.

It is now, more than ever, essential that those retiring seek independent advice to make sure the solutions they take into retirement are most suitable to their situation.  Pensions now look an even more attractive way to save for retirement.

Savings

 The New Individual Savings Account (NISA)

National Savings & Investments (NS&I)

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

Collective Investment Schemes

Quest Financial Solutions - Comment

These measures provide simplicity and increased flexibility for savers, and (N)ISAs will continue to be an important savings vehicle for individuals seeking exposure to collective investments.  (N)ISAs are an excellent way to invest alongside a pension that give you complete control, liquidity and tax free growth.

Personal Income Tax 

Personal Allowances, Rates and Thresholds

Full details of the rates of tax and personal allowances etc will be available on our new tax cards which are in print.  If you would like one of these sent once we have them then please contact your adviser.

Quest Financial Solutions - Comment

The further significant rise in the personal allowance is designed to lift many people on low incomes out of the income tax “net” and ease the burden on basic rate taxpayers. The focus remains on increasing the tax take from individuals with higher incomes, and the reduction in the basic rate tax limit is likely to increase even further the number of higher rate taxpayers. For most people, higher rate tax will start at £41,865 for 2014/2015.

These measures would appear to continue to make non-income producing assets such as investment bonds and capital growth orientated unit trusts and OEICs attractive.

As and when the finer details are released we will aim to focus on each element in more detail.