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Spring Newsletter

None of us are where we thought we would be at the beginning of the year. With the decisive general election in December allowing Boris Johnson his mandate to push forward with Brexit, we might all have been forgiven for thinking that we could look forward to more stability in 2020. However, as the Covid-19 virus has spread into a global pandemic, it is clear that we are facing an entirely new challenge that may now last for several months.

In this climate, where the situation is changing daily, we have tried to update this edition of our newsletter as far as possible before releasing it. We know everyone is looking for stability and clarity in these difficult circumstances. With the still relatively new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, rounding off a week of unprecedented announcements with a plan of help for the self-employed amid increased lockdown rules, the government’s full range of measures will hopefully help us all to bridge new uncertainties.

The Chancellor finally delivered what became an emergency Budget on 11 March as the crisis took hold. While most attention was paid to the provisions made to tackle Covid-19 for workers and businesses, other changes were also introduced which we outline in our feature story. We saw a dramatic cut to the entrepreneurs’ relief lifetime limit, while the pensions annual allowance charge saw tapering thresholds altered to meet concerns of higher earners. Rumoured changes to pensions tax rules and inheritance tax were, for the moment, omitted.

Our other stories for this edition include:

  • Lessons from five years of pensions flexibility In the five years since pension holders were given the freedom to draw directly from certain pensions savings, what have we learned from people’s behaviours?

  • Too generous by half? Younger family members are increasingly receiving financial assistance from generous grandparents. How can intergenerational gifting be managed to maximise assistance to the recipient, while not impacting negatively on the giver?

  • Shifts in the savings landscape Now the Help to Buy ISA has been withdrawn, the Lifetime ISA is the sole option available for younger investors looking for a savings boost from the government, but there are penalties to be aware of.

  • Overcoming the gender pensions gap New research shows that women are saving more than ever for retirement, but a gender gap still leaves them lagging behind men. We talk about ways to maximise your investments to help close this gap.

As ever, if you think you may be affected by any of our stories, do get in touch with us. Our next update will come in the summer. Until then we hope you and yours stay safe and well.

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