Philip Hammond delivered his - some say 'dull' - Autumn Statement on 23 November. Professional Adviser asked four advisers what stood out for them and how these policies might affect their business ...
Although a relatively quiet statement on the whole, as always, the Chancellor couldn't resit tinkering with at least some legislation.
Stand-out policies included a reduction in the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) to £4,000, a crack-down on pension scams including a ban on cold-calling, and cutting the tax relief given to some salary sacrifice schemes.
For now, it seems the triple lock will remain in place, and to much surprise, the lifetime ISA was not mentioned at all.
We asked four advisers which policy they felt stood out the most, and how the statement might affect their business and clients.
"We're going to have to be careful when planning flexible pension income"
Martin Bamford, managing director, Informed Choice
"It's tricky to pick an individual policy - it was a dull statement!
"There are minor points that will affect financial advisers; one around the reduction in the MPAA. We're going to have to be more careful when planning flexible income from pensions [with] how much clients can put back in the future.
"It doesn't give us much to talk about nor change with clients, but that's no bad thing. Financial planning should be a long-term strategy, not about making changes every year. So if we have a new approach to this, perhaps we're looking at a better way of doing things."
"It was more what didn't happen than did"
Jon French, independent financial adviser, AW Financial Management
"In some way it was more what didn't happen than did, there was all this talk of tax simplifications, and then you look down the list of various taxes and allowances that now apply, and it seems to be getting longer rather than simpler.
"The bond idea is a bit of a political move. I can't see that being a massive benefit to anyone. If you're on low earnings it's only slightly higher than a bank deposit, and you can only put £3,000 in, so the actual monetary benefit for someone on low earnings is about £20, which is very little.
"We won't really be affected, I think if the salary sacrifice had included pension contributions that would have been an issue, but they've made it clear they're not. It hasn't been a hit or a boost to our business, perhaps other IFAs with more niche areas run into trouble, but I think for most there wasn't anything in there that was a shocker."
"Cuts to corporation tax will affect us"
Danny Cox, chartered financial planner, Hargreaves Lansdown
"I think the policy that stood out the most was the fact that the MPAA has been cut from £10,000 to £4,000. Clearly governments are worried about people getting too much tax relief and working the system.
"There are wider things that will affect us, such as things like the continuation of cuts to corporate tax, that's good for investment so that's ultimately good for investment businesses, there are lots of moving parts to apply into the mix.
"There was very little that impacted financial advising. A little around the edges on salary sacrifice, but that's been on the cards anyway I'm not sure it'll have a huge impact on employee benefits or corporate consultancy business."
"It's helpful for everyone to have one main Budget"
Ray Tammam, independent financial adviser, Fairstone Financial Management
"Reducing the MPAA is very significant. I think this will make pension advice even more important for people who are thinking of withdrawing their flexible benefits, to make sure they're aware they're going to be severely restricted in paying more money in.
"One general point is actually that they're getting rid of the Autumn Statement! I think it's a good idea to have one major event each year as opposed to two, because it gets extremely complicated. I think it's a very good idea to go down to the one main Budget, it's helpful for everyone to have one per year."
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