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Further Crackdown expected from HMRC on high net worth tax

Pinsent Mason have reported that the HM Revenue & Customs recent crackdown on tax avoidance is likely to be extended with the government having caught half a billion pounds extra since they started the campaign.

According to a Freedom of information requested by the law firm, HRMC reported that they collected £494m worth of income tax between 2014 and 2015 through their investigations into tax avoidance schemes.

Paul Nobel, the Tax Director for Pinsent Mason had warned advisers and accountants to beware of this success.

“High-net worth individuals and other wealthy taxpayers are likely to face further scrutiny as a result – both here and abroad”

HMRC has stepped up their investigations since 2012 especially following the extensive media coverage of celebrities participating in such activities, targeting actors, musicians, sports starts and comedians.

In April 2014 the Counter Avoidance Sirectorate was created to crack down on the use and promotion of such avoidance schemes and HMRC has also published a list of arrangements which run contrary to its rules.

Tougher powers have be introduced to find and demand disputed tax. The accelerated payment notices, which have caused some controversy have been part of these, where upfront payment of the tax under question within 90 days when the use of an avoidance scheme is suspected.

HMRC continue to be given new powers and tools to help them crack down on these avoidance cases.

HMRC has seen a surge in returns from investigations into tax affairs of high net worth individuals. The past year has seen an income of £29 for every £1 spent on the investigation process. That is a 60 per cent increase from 2014’s investigations.

£414m has been collected from the high net worth unit, which covers 6,000 individuals who have a net worth of £20m or more in 2014/2015.

The Committee of Public Accounts has concluded in their reports that the HMRC however are not doing enough to tackle tax fraud. They believe that “only limited progress” has been made in reducing losses through the crime.

Tax avoidance and evasion has once again been in the spot light recently with the leak of the “Panama Papers”. With everyone from the Prime Minister to actress Emma Watson named in these papers. The Financial Conduct authority has sent information requests to 64 implicated firms so far, but refused to be drawn on its preliminary findings.

For help and advice please do not hesitate to contact us at Hoskin Financial or Hoskin Home Loans

THIS BLOG PROVIDES INFORMATION, IT IS NOT ADVICE. ANY OPINIONS ARE GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. OPINIONS AND INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN THIS EMAIL DO NOT CONSTITUTE ADVICE. (IF YOU REQUIRE PERSONAL ADVICE BASED ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, PLEASE CONTACT US AT HOSKIN FINANCIAL

 

Who Wants To Be an ISA Millionaire?

ISA Millionaire

ISA Millionaire

Most of us will remember the hit TV show, Who wants to be a millionaire, while is was popular thousand of want to be millionaires would rush home to see if they could answer the questions.  Most of us have dreamed of becoming a millionaire and regularly tell everyone what we will be spending our lottery winnings on, however the odds of you winning a million are roughly a million to one so what would you say if we told you that the humble ISA could be your chance to reach that magic million.

Now don’t get us wrong this is not a get rich quick scheme, but if you are prepared to put away a few thousand every year and have the patience to watch it grow you are in with a great chance.

Can an ISA Really Make you a Millionaire?

The short answer is yes, by investing in stocks and share, by utilising your tax efficient friend, The individual savings account (ISA) allowance to the max. Not only is it possible, hundreds of savvy savers have already done it and with commitment and time you can join their ranks.

In 2015 Barclays stockbrokers reported that nearly 70 of its clients had achieved ISA millionaire status and there must be many more across their investment platforms. The truth is, none of them achieved ISA millionaire status over night because investing in stocks and shares rarely makes you a quick buck however as the saying goes “slowly slowly catchy monkey”. The downside is that you will need to invest a tidy sum each year. (There’s always a catch)

Credit where Credit is Due

The time it will take you to reach this financial milestone has been significantly reduced now that our Chancellor George Osbourne has expanded the ISA allowance. In the current tax year you will be able to invest up to £15,240 in a stocks and shares ISA, and pay no capital gains tax or income tax on your returns for the rest of your life. From next April things get even better because you will be able to invest a massive £20,000, which is a five-fold rise on Gordon Brown’s original Isa limit of £4,000.

This is definitely a slow burner, a recent report by Fidelity International highlighted it will take just over 24 years to become an ISA millionaire. This millionaire status assumes you continue to invest the maximum ISA allowance, increasing your contributions by 2% every year. It also assumes your savings will grow by 5% year on year, after charges. Your returns could grow faster of course or they may not reach this level, especially while interest rates are so low.

ISA to Grow Because Cash is to slow

If your dream is to hit the ISA million mark you will have to invest in a stocks and share ISA, although the risks are higher than the money in the bank savings plan, the rewards are potential much more lucrative. For example if you had invested £15,000 in the FTSE all share index in February 1996 you would now have the tidy sum of £51,866, compared to a mere £20,345 with the safer alternative. This equates to an extra £31,521, some would say, well worth the risk.

These figures also assume you reinvest all your dividends for future growth, which is of course the secret to long-term savings success. Without this reinvestment the FTSE 100 is still 11% below the 6,930 it hit on December 1999, but when you take into account reinvested dividends this swings to a 70% growth rate.

Back to ISA Reality

The figures shown above are achievable however not every ISA investor will become a millionaire, the majority of savers can not afford to invest £20,000 every year as life tend to throw up a few challenges but there is no harm in having a dream, after all investing £20,000 into an Isa is more likely than winning a million pounds on the lottery.

If you have any questions regarding savings and investments please visit our website where you can get free advice.

For help and advice please do not hesitate to contact us at Hoskin Financial or Hoskin Home Loans

THIS BLOG PROVIDES INFORMATION, IT IS NOT ADVICE. ANY OPINIONS ARE GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. OPINIONS AND INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN THIS EMAIL DO NOT CONSTITUTE ADVICE. (IF YOU REQUIRE PERSONAL ADVICE BASED ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, PLEASE CONTACT US AT HOSKIN FINANCIAL

 

 

 

 

550 jobs to be lost as RBS plans to automate investment advice

550 jobs to go at RBS

550 jobs to go at RBS

RBS plans to restrict face-to-face advice to people with more than £250,000 to invest as it strives to reduce costs after losing £2bn, this is the eighth consecutive annual loss posted by the struggling bank.

A spokesperson for the bank said “these changes are being made as more and more of our customers prefer to bank with us using digital technology”.

As a result “ we are scaling back our face-to-face advisers and significantly investing in an online investing platform that enables us to help a new group of customers with as little as £500 to invest.

This will affect customers who are looking for advice on products such as life insurance, which will only be available by phone, resulting in around 250 job losses.

The bank blamed a reduction in the number of customers using their insurance services for the move to a telephone only service.

Another 220 jobs will go with the introduction of a new online investment platform, there will also be 250 jobs lost in the insurance services division as well as 80 administrative support staff.

There is some good news for the tax payer though as RBS is paying back £1.2bn to the Treasury to buy out a crucial part of its £45bn bailout in a step towards returning the bank to the private sector.

RBS is making the payment to end an agreement with the government, which stops the bank paying dividends to any shareholders before the treasury. This is being done despite the fact they are not ready to start issuing dividends to shareholders.

Controversially the bailed-out bank still handed out its top management team future bonuses in shares worth more than £17 million pounds despite falling £2 billion into the red.

At Hoskin financial Planning we still offer a free face-to-face consultation and although we use obviously computers, we believe that getting to know you is the most important part of what we do. If you would like some help or advice please call us on 01621 876030 or visit www.hoskinfinancialplanning.co.uk

For help and advice please do not hesitate to contact us at Hoskin Financial or Hoskin Home Loans

THIS BLOG PROVIDES INFORMATION, IT IS NOT ADVICE. ANY OPINIONS ARE GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. OPINIONS AND INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN THIS EMAIL DO NOT CONSTITUTE ADVICE. (IF YOU REQUIRE PERSONAL ADVICE BASED ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, PLEASE CONTACT US AT HOSKIN FINANCIAL

 

 

Low paid workers to get up to £1,200
bonus with new Help to Save scheme

Low Earners could get uo to £1200

Low Earners could get uo to £1200

George Osborne confirmed, the previously announced Help to Save scheme would be available to low income savers within two years.

Mr Osborne said the government were committed to helping the poorest in our society benefit from saving, he said that the governments new scheme will mean millions of low paid savers across the country could receive a government bonus of up to £1,200 which would help them to build their savings.

It is calculated that around 3.5 million low paid workers on universal or working tax credits will be able to set up a monthly saving plan of up to £50 which would attract a bonus equivalent to 50% of what you have saved- a maximum of £600 after two years.  Savers can continue to use the scheme for another two years and benefit from another bonus of up to £600.

When you are on a low income saving is often the last thing on your mind, this was confirmed In a recent study where it was found that almost 50% of adults in the Uk had less than £500 in savings set aside for a rainy day.

The new scheme has been widely welcomed by debt charities and financial planners, although some have voiced reservations.

Mike O’Connor, chief executive of debt charity StepChange, welcomed the move, he said: “Our research shows that if every household in the UK had £1,000 in rainy day savings, 500,000 would be protected from falling into problem debt.”

However, Mr O’Connor added that they are concerned two years is too long to wait for a bonus, as “such a wait may see families overtaken by events”.

Mr O’Connor also said, that to build financial resilience, any savings scheme needs to form part of a “responsive safety net”, including more affordable credit and better protections for those in financial difficulty.

 

David Cameron also announced his government are increasing the national minimum wage for young workers. These changes will take effect in October and will see the rate increase by 25p per hour for 21-24 year olds, which means they will be earning £6.95 per hour. Anyone in the 18-20 year old group will see their hourly rate increase to  £5.55 per hour.

The rate will also increase by 13p to £4.00 an hour for the under-18s and apprentices will be given an extra 10p an hour taking them to £3.40.

The government previously announced that April will see the over 25s being paid a national living wage of £7.20 per hour.

Speaking about the above announcements, David Cameron said “I’ve made it the mission of this government to transform life chances across the country.

“That means giving hard working people the extra support they need to fulfil their potential.

If you are looking to set up a new savings plan or would like help in getting the most out of your existing savings, contact Hoskin Financial planning for a Free consultation on 01621 876030 or leave us your details here

For help and advice please do not hesitate to contact us at Hoskin Financial or Hoskin Home Loans

THIS BLOG PROVIDES INFORMATION, IT IS NOT ADVICE. ANY OPINIONS ARE GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. OPINIONS AND INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN THIS EMAIL DO NOT CONSTITUTE ADVICE. (IF YOU REQUIRE PERSONAL ADVICE BASED ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, PLEASE CONTACT US AT HOSKIN FINANCIAL

 

 

Pensioners Let Down By Government “Shambles” Of Communication

Most people retiring after the 6th of April 2016 will not receive the full £155.65 a week flat rate state pension

If you are retiring after the 6th April 2016 your state pension will fall under a new regime touted as being simpler and fairer.  However,  a Work and Pensions Committee final report has found “failures to communicate mean too few people understand” the changes and many are set to receive less money than they expected. MPs have been critical that government communication has been too “focused on the full flat rate”.

In what Saga’s director of communications, Paul Green branded a “shambles”, those worst hit are unaware with “inaccurate or outdated” information leaving them “little to no time to make up for this government information error.”

With the changes looming, MPs have called for those negatively affected to be written to “as a matter of urgency”.

Women Amongst Those Most Negatively Affected By Changes

While it is still unclear whether the new rules will meet their stated goals in the long run, it is the transitional years that are set to see many people lose out.  Those groups at the top of the MPs’ concerns include:

  • People with fewer than 10 years of qualifying contributions.
  • People (largely women) who would currently derive rights to a pension based on their spouse’s contributions and are not covered by transitional protection.
  • Those who built up a large guaranteed minimum pension in the period 1978-1988 and will reach state pension age during the early years of the new regime.

MPs are calling for a new telephone hotline for those concerned about their circumstances to be manned by expert advisors and annual state pension statements to be sent to all people aged 50 and over in line with the private sector.

For clear independent financial advice please feel free to contact Hoskin Financial Planning to discuss how you are affected.

THIS BLOG PROVIDES INFORMATION, IT IS NOT ADVICE. ANY OPINIONS ARE GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. OPINIONS AND INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN THIS EMAIL DO NOT CONSTITUTE ADVICE. (IF YOU REQUIRE PERSONAL ADVICE BASED ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, PLEASE CONTACT US AT HOSKIN FINANCIAL

 

CAN YOU HOLD YOUR NERVE?
WHILE DRAWDOWN FUNDS TAKE A DIVE?

Can You Hold Your Nerve.

Can You Hold Your Nerve.

The FTSE 100 has not fared to well over the past ten months, in fact since April 2016 it has fallen by 15%, which means any income linked to the performance of the FTSE will have been detrimentally affected.

The Income drawdown scheme which is a way of using your pension pot to provide you with a regular retirement income by investing it in funds specifically designed and managed for this purpose, have been hit badly as they rely on a strong market to deliver good results. Drawdown funds values have seen their values fall by 8%

It is estimated that in the six months following the pension reforms, more than 40,000 drawdown plans were purchased but rather than reaping the rewards of savvy saving many find themselves waiting for the markets and pension values to recover before they dare to take any income.

The good news is most customers who took a drawdown will have a portfolio containing a mixture of bonds; equities and cash, which are estimated, to have performed slightly better.

To put these figures into perspective, if you had invested £100,00 in a mixed portfolio of assets (assuming an income of £5,571 which was equal to the annuity rate at the time of taking the drawdown fund) your pot would have fallen by 13% in nine months to just over £86,000

For many people who now have a fund valued at 90% of what it was a few months ago will be left feeling very uneasy about the future. Although the markets have a history of recovering, remaining calm while your funds ebb away is easier said than done.

The effects of the fall may find people looking for other ways to pay their bills, some have called this drawdown prison, rightly not wanting to crystallise losses.

Some people will be able to hold on while things return to normal however if you need the income then looking at the alternatives is essential, as you may find the yield from your investments may not be enough. If you want peace of mind it is no longer the case of choosing an annuity or drawdown, you may need to consider a mixture of both products, of course as with all financial decisions you should seek professional advice before making any decisions.

If you would like any more information about your retirement options you can download our free report here or visit our website at http://www.hoskinfinancialplanning.co.uk/

This blog was inspired by ftadvisor

For help and advice please do not hesitate to contact us at Hoskin Financial or Hoskin Home Loans

THIS BLOG PROVIDES INFORMATION, IT IS NOT ADVICE. ANY OPINIONS ARE GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. OPINIONS AND INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN THIS EMAIL DO NOT CONSTITUTE ADVICE. (IF YOU REQUIRE PERSONAL ADVICE BASED ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, PLEASE CONTACT US AT HOSKIN FINANCIAL

 

Grieving Families Could Face New death tax of £20,000

£20,000 Death Tax

£20,000 Death Tax

This new administration fee, which some are calling a back door death tax could see some bereaved families filling the government coffers with £20,000

According to ministers the new scheme would be better for poorer families whose estate was worth £50,000 or less as they would no longer have to pay the existing fee, which currently stands at £155 (up from £45 in 2014)

This will sound good to some, however as this new tax is designed to raise £250 million pounds, there will be many families who see a massive increase compared to what they pay now.

At the moment if you were to inherit a modest family home worth £290,000 the current charge would be £155 under new these new measure you would see that bill rise six fold to £1,000.

It doesn’t stop there as the fee rises sharply depending on the value of the estate. For example lets say you were inheriting an average London home with a value of just over 5000,000 your new bill will be £4,000 which quickly rises to £8,000 for estates worth 1,000,000. The cap of £20,000 would be payable for all estates valued at £2,000,000 or more.

This will be hard to swallow for many when you consider as we mentioned earlier that the existing fee is just £155 if acting through a solicitor.

It is expected these new fees will be unpopular however, Shailesh Vara, the justice Minister said, “this new fee would be a critical contribution to cutting the deficit as well as paying for an overhaul of the burdened courts system.

The consultation was cleverly launched while people’s attention was focussed on the negotiations in Brussels over Britain’s membership of the European Union.

In a letter to Bob Neil, chairman of the justice and select committee, Mr Vara, wrote, ”Court fees are never popular but they are necessary if we are as a nation, to live within our means”

“These proposals are progressive and will raise an additional £250 million pounds a year which is a major part of cutting the deficit and reducing the burden on the tax payer of running the courts and tribunals.”

In summing up, The ministry of Justice reiterated that only one per cent of estates would be liable for the top fee of £20,000 and nearly 60% of estates would pay no fee for probate at all.

The amount of families who will have to pay the top fee of 20,000 is expected to be around 2,700.

At the moment only estates valued up to £5,000 are exempt from the existing fee. That threshold will rise to 50,000 under the new proposals. The consultation process runs until April.

If you would like more information about inheritance tax or probate please contact us at Hoskin financial planning

4 WAYS TO PAY OFF YOUR CREDIT CARD

To Pay Off Your Credit Card Faster

To Pay Off Your Credit Card Faster

Before we show you 5 tips to pay off your credit card faster, we wanted to look at the perils of only ever making the minimum payment (normally 2.5%). Credit card companies thrive on ignorance and when you take into consideration that only 20% of people know how long it will take to pay off a credit card with a balance of £1,000 at an APR of 18.9% you start to understand why so many lenders love this market.

DID YOU KNOW THE ANSWER?

If you are like the majority of people you either had no idea or you just got the answer wrong. Don’t worry though as you’re about to become one of the elite. Paying a minimum monthly payment of £25 will take you five long years to shift this debt at a massive cost of £509. This means almost everything you purchased actually cost twice what you paid for it, which is ironic if you waited until the sales to buy it. Now you know just how much you are paying lets show you how you can clear your credit card faster and slash the cost of it in the process.

Tip No. 1-Start by Setting a Goal

Setting this goal may not seem like the key to paying off your credit card at first, but once you set this goal it’s the actions that follow that will make the impact. Step two will involve looking at your debts, this in itself can be a revelation as most people unconsciously drift into high balances and don’t even realise how much they owe. Once you know where you are you can come up with a plan to get you to where you want to be. Not used to goal setting? Check out this web site for some great tips.

Tip No. 2-Every Little Helps

Like all good advice is as obvious as the nose on the end of your face and this little gem is no different. Get into the habit of paying a little more, for example paying just £5 per month more will save you a whopping £292 and shave more than a year off the time it takes to clear your credit card.

Tip No. 3-Switch to a 0% card

Switching to a 0% card and paying £30 per month will shave three years and two months off your payment time and even with the nominal transfer fee most of these cards carry you could save £475, now that’s what I call a tip. These cards are easy to find, just type 0% into Google and choose a company that best suits your credit status. Do not worry if your credit score is low, there are companies out there who are still willing to give you a 0% balance transfer.

Tip No. 4- Put Your Cards on Ice

Some times what we all need is some tough love, I’m sorry to say but getting out of debt will mean prizing those income suckers out of your wallet so you can’t be tempted to use them when you see that must have bargain (that will end up costing you twice what you pay). One neat little trick is to put your credit card into a block of ice and keep it there until the balance is cleared. This will get you into the habit of paying as you go which at first will seem restrictive but as the saying goes “this method will set you free” well the saying was really “The truth will set you free” but you get my point.

For help and advice please do not hesitate to contact us at Hoskin Financial or Hoskin Home Loans

THIS BLOG PROVIDES INFORMATION, IT IS NOT ADVICE. ANY OPINIONS ARE GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. OPINIONS AND INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN THIS EMAIL DO NOT CONSTITUTE ADVICE. (IF YOU REQUIRE PERSONAL ADVICE BASED ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, PLEASE CONTACT US AT HOSKIN FINANCIAL

 

THE NEW STATE PENSION- KNOW THE FACTS

How will your quality of life affected by the pension changes of 2016?

The New State Pension - Know The Facts

The New State Pension – Know The Facts

The state pension has been given a major overhaul and April 2016 sees these changes coming into affect. This report will help you understand how these changes will affect your future pension. It will answer a few important questions, such as how much will you get and when you will become eligible to claim.

Even if your retirement seems a long way off, knowing about these changes is very important because if you are like most people apart from a work place pension, the state pension could be your main source of income.

Pension Changes in Brief

 Single-tier, flat-rate State Pension, This will replace the basic and additional pensions for people reaching State Pension age from 6 April 2016 onwards.
 The age you qualify for The State Pension changes from 66 to 67 between April 2026 and April 2028
 Allows the Government to review how old you will need to be to claim a pension every 5-years.

Is it About Saving Money or Making it simple? – You Decide

The government says it’s about simplifying the process and has put an end to the additional state pension known as (S2p) along with the state earnings pension scheme (SERPS)

What Are The State Pension changes?

From April 2016 the amount you will get from a state pension changes, the new flat rate, single-tier system means you can get a maximum of £155.65.

In addition to this change any extra pensions and ‘contracting out’ will no longer exist as will part of the pension credit. The government previously permitted pension savers to ‘contract out’ of the state second pension; this was to lift the burden of paying all workers the additional second state pension.

This scheme allowed you to pay less national insurance, which meant you didn’t get the additional state pension however the money you saved in reduced national insurance was paid into your private or work place pension. There is also a change to the amount of years you will need to pay national insurance before you qualify for your pension, this is being increased from 30 to 35 years.

These changes will not affect you if you reach the pension age before the 6th of April 2016.

How much state pension will I get?

People who reach the state pension retirement age on or after the 6th of April 2016 will see their amount calculated using the maximum level of the new state pension, which is £155.65.

Nothing is ever straightforward though, and some people’s starting amount could be more or less than the stated figure depending on how much they have built up in their additional state pension. This could mean they get a higher amount in the same way that those who were contracted out for a long period of time before April 2016 could receive less.

What you get is based on the amount of national insurance you have paid but your payment will not be less than the amount you would have received up to the last day of the old system (5th april 2016) This assumes you have paid national insurance for at least ten years (the minimum qualifying period).

Contracted out or contracted in?

If you have been paying national insurance payments at a reduced or receiving a rebate into your pension fund then you have been contracted out to one of the two following schemes
1) DB Scheme
2) DC Scheme
The new system makes a reduction in the flat-rate pension in the same way a ‘contracted out-deduction’ has been made from your additional state pension under the old system.

If you’ve been contracted out but continue to work for a few more years after 2016, making full-rate NI contributions, you can continue to build up further state pension pot until you reach the full flat rate.

Contracted in

Anyone who has accrued a certain level of state pension will not lose out as a result of the new rules that take effect on the 6th of April 2016. To ensure this, the government will make the following calculations.
1) Your state pension entitlement under the old rules
2) Your state pension entitlement under the new rules from 6 of April 2016.
Your starting amount will be the higher of the two figures, worked out using the calculations above, this will be known as your ‘starting amount’. It is important to know that if this is greater than what you will get under the new scheme you will be awarded the higher amount.

Example pension forecast

Getting your head around how the new rules will effect you can seem a daunting task, hopefully this report has given you a better understanding of how the new state pension rules will affect you personally, for more information click pension forecast to see what you may be entitled to when you retire based on your National Insurance contributions.

A new calculator is being built to help you get an estimate of your state pension. The current pension statement will also tell you exactly when you will reach the state pension age and can claim your pension.

For more help and advice please do not hestate to contact us at Hoskin Financial.

THIS BLOG PROVIDES INFORMATION, IT IS NOT ADVICE. ANY OPINIONS ARE GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. OPINIONS AND INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN THIS EMAIL DO NOT CONSTITUTE ADVICE. (IF YOU REQUIRE PERSONAL ADVICE BASED ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, PLEASE CONTACT US AT HOSKIN FINANCIAL

Automatic enrolment

The Pensions Regulator says that 152,900 small and micro employers (with fewer than 50 people employed) have a staging date for automatic enrolment in financial year 2015/16.

This means that they must start a pension scheme, or join the government’s NEST arrangement, in this financial year. The regulator recommends planning for a new scheme 12 months ahead of a staging date – but I wonder how many employers actually do that?

In view of the commitment that employers all eventually have to starting a pension scheme, here are some matters of interest. Let me know if you need any more information about these or any aspect of auto enrolment.

New step-by-step guide published

The Pensions Regulator (www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/) has published a new auto enrolment step-by-step guide specifically aimed at small and micro employers. This new guide explains simply and clearly the steps you will need to take to comply.

It says that ideally you should allow up to 12 months to prepare and you should visit the step-by-step guide regularly to make sure you are fully prepared to meet your automatic enrolment obligations.

Automatic enrolment: do you know what you need to know about payroll?

The Pensions Regulator has also issued a guide that explains how using the right payroll software is key to a smooth enrolment experience. Research by them indicates that people may not be aware of the impact that automatic enrolment has on payroll, particularly in relation to data/software compatibility.

If the payroll systems that you are planning to use are ready for automatic enrolment and compatible with other systems, you’ll find the process much easier to implement and run on an ongoing basis.

‘A quick guide to setting up payroll: Making automatic enrolment easier’ is aimed at payroll professionals and will help you understand the steps required to ensure your payroll systems are ready.

Companies with no staff

Lastly, The Pensions Regulator has published an auto enrolment update aimed at companies who employ no jobholders and therefore, may not have any automatic enrolment duties. For example a services company with no staff and a director who has no contract of employment.

There is information on their website on what sole directors should do if they believe automatic enrolment obligations do not apply to them, as well as further information to help husband and wife companies and family businesses understand how automatic enrolment duties apply to them.

If you run a business and do not have staff and have received a letter from The Pensions Regulator, you can write to them to explain their particular circumstances.

For help and advice please do not hesitate to contact us at HoskinFinancial

THIS BLOG PROVIDES INFORMATION, IT IS NOT ADVICE. ANY OPINIONS ARE GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. OPINIONS AND INFORMATION INCLUDED WITHIN THIS EMAIL DO NOT CONSTITUTE ADVICE. (IF YOU REQUIRE PERSONAL ADVICE BASED ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, PLEASE CONTACT US AT HOSKIN FINANCIAL