Jelf Employee Benefits sees the upcoming Autumn Budget Statement as an opportunity for the new Chancellor to finally put to bed some outstanding issues that may have been overlooked in the wake of the EU referendum results.
The company has identified the key issues which they would like to see clarified:
- Final details of the proposed Pension Advice Allowance which is targeted to commence in April 2017. This may be an important step towards providing older savers with specific advice around their retirement planning, and it is important for the industry to fully understand the proposals so that this can be embraced and offered at the earliest opportunity.
- Clarification of the launch date and definitive final details of Tax-Free Childcare. This new and valuable state financial support for working parents is also due to commence in 2017, but again, the industry, employers and working parents are awaiting the definitive final details of this proposal.
- The formal consultation on the use of Salary Sacrifice concluded this month, and many employers are anxiously awaiting the outcomes as this will impact offerings within some flex and voluntary benefit packages. An end to the uncertainty here would be welcomed by all.
- Finally – and not least – confirmation of any tweaks to the proposed structure of the Lifetime ISA (to be launched in April 2017) would be welcome. Hand in hand with this would be an indication as to whether the new Chancellor is to look into the reforming of Pension Tax Reliefs (a project shelved by his predecessor just before the March Budget).
Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy for Jelf Employee Benefits said: ‘There are currently a lot of loose ends which we hope will be tied up. All these areas have a direct impact on employers and their staff, and any directives will need careful planning, so the earlier we have answers, the better. In the meantime, our advice for employers is to utilise the tax reliefs inherent in current benefits packages before any potential changes occur.’