The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivered his eighth Budget speech on Wednesday 16 March, his third in 12 months. Now that we’ve had time to take stock of the key announcements, we consider how they could impact your finances both today and in future years.
Harnessing the simplicity and popularity of the ISA wrapper
The introduction of the new Lifetime Individual Savings Account (LISA) next year is aimed at helping young people save flexibly for the long term throughout their lives, and simultaneously enabling them to save for a first home and for their retirement without having to choose one over the other.
A shake-up of the stamp duty rules took effect on 1 April 2016 in relation to anyone owning more than one residential property – this will affect those buyers funding the purchase of a new home with the sale of an existing home: if their buyer pulls out but they still want to go ahead – perhaps by using a bridging loan – they will be liable for the stamp duty surcharge because they will technically own two residential properties at completion.
Following changes introduced in April 2015, you now have more choice and flexibility than ever before over how and when you can take money from your pension pot, but it’s essential to obtain professional advice to decide what the best course of action you should take, as this will be your retirement income for the rest of your life.
Providing greater flexibility with the investments you can choose
A self-invested personal pension (SIPP) is a pension ‘wrapper’ that holds investments until you retire and start to draw a retirement income. It is a type of personal pension and works in a similar way to a standard personal pension. The main difference is that with a SIPP, you have greater flexibility with the investments you can choose.
A personal pension is a type of defined contribution pension. You choose the provider and make arrangements for your contributions to be paid. If you haven’t got a workplace pension, getting a personal pension could be a good way of saving for retirement.
A defined benefit pension scheme is one where the amount paid to you is set using a formula based on how many years you’ve worked for your employer and the salary you’ve earned rather than the value of your investments. If you work or have worked for a large employer or in the public sector, you may have a defined benefit pension.
With a defined contribution pension, you build up a pot of money that you can then use to provide an income in retirement. Unlike defined benefit schemes, which promise a specific income, the income you might get from a defined contribution scheme depends on factors including the amount you pay in, the fund’s investment performance and the choices you make at retirement.
The State Pension changed on 6 April 2016. If you reached State Pension age on or after that date, you’ll now receive the new State Pension under the new rules. The aim of the new State Pension is to make it simpler to understand, but there are some complicated changeover arrangements which you need to know about if you’ve already made contributions under the previous system.
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