Budget 2016: what do you think?

budget 2016

The Budget delivered some wins for our campaigns – a pensions dashboard commitment, action on nuisance calls, and plans to unlock mobile phones. So what do you think of George Osborne’s announcements?

The headlines might come in the form of a bid to tackle sugary drinks with a new sugar tax on soft drinks or the new ‘Lifetime Isa’ to help savers under 40.

However, there were a number of other key announcements. So we’ve pulled together some of our highlights for you.

Win! A pensions dashboard

In a win for our Better Pensions campaign, the Treasury has announced plans to deliver on our call for a pensions dashboard. Our research recently found that over a third of people approaching retirement age find it difficult to keep track of their pension pots. With the introduction of auto-enrolment for workplace pensions, more and more of us are going to be juggling multiple pension pots.

We called for a pensions dashboard system to be introduced to house all the information necessary to help savers make informed decisions about their retirement choices. The Government has committed to the launch of the dashboard by 2019.

Win! Nuisance calls

Another win came in for our nuisance calls campaign, in the form of a commitment announced by the Chancellor to clamp down on rogue claims management companies (CMCs) that bombard people with nuisance calls. Also, in support of our call to make management of CMCs personally accountable for malpractice, George Osborne announced plans to introduce mechanisms that will ensure that CMC managers can be held to account for the actions of their business.

Win! Mobile unlocking

The Chancellor confirmed in the Budget that the Government will consult on ending the practice of locking phones after your contract has ended. And it has committed to consulting on this by the end of this year. He added that the Government welcomes voluntary commitments from mobile phone providers, but added that it is ready to introduce legislation if necessary.

Financial advice

George Osborne made a number of announcements on financial advice. The Government will consult on a clear definition of financial advice which will aim to remove regulatory uncertainty and ensure that financial advisory firms can offer you the help you need. Also there will be an increase to Income Tax and National Insurance relief for employer arranged pension advice from £150 to £500.

The Chancellor also announced that the Government will consult on introducing a Pensions Advice Allowance. This will allow people before the age of 55 to withdraw up to £500 tax free from their defined contribution pension to redeem against the cost of financial advice. The exact age at which people can do this will be determined through consultation. This means that a basic rate taxpayer could save £100 on the cost of financial advice.

Help to save

Plans for a ‘Help to Save’ scheme were announced. This scheme will be open to employees on in-work benefits, such as tax credits, who put aside £50 a month and would then receive a bonus of 50% after two years, worth up to £600.

What are thoughts?

Another year, another Budget. Are any of today’s announcements welcome news for you?

Comments
Guest
Philip Tory says:
17 March 2016

✔ I would really like to see State Pensions paid MONTHLY, not four-weekly. ✔
➜ ALL my outgoing bills are monthly, and if the pension arrives at an awkward date, it makes it hard to keep cash flow under control.
➜ Can we have a sanity check on this? To the Pensions dept computer, it’s just a small matter of programming.
➜ What does everyone else think?

Guest
David Laing says:
17 March 2016

My state pension is paid weekly by my own election. Would this resolve your issue Phillip.

Guest
chris says:
17 March 2016

i get my state pension weekly . i prefer this method .

Guest
Robin Butler says:
17 March 2016

I quite like the 4-week state pension. With my occupational pension arriving at the end of each month, calendar, it’s nice to have the state pension occurring at intermittent times during the month. Does anyone else agree with me, or is Philip supported more?

Guest
RHT says:
17 March 2016

I sort of agree with both Philip’s original comment and Robin’s response. When I first started getting the State Pension, I also found it awkward and annoying trying to combine 4-weekly payments with monthly expenses. However, after a couple of years of dealing with this, I now find that (a) I also like the fact that the State Pension payment moves forward a couple of days each month and (b) by considering my 4-weekly payment as a monthly payment, I get the bonus of a ‘double’ payment in one calendar month. Swings and roundabouts.

Guest
kel meyler says:
18 March 2016

I get my state pension every 28 days, that is how it has always been with myself. My wife though does get her state pension weekly.

Guest

Why should your preference take precedence over the wishes of others. You could take the time to write to the Pensions authority and ask them to change your frequency of payment.
There is a practise called “Budgetting”. Indulge.

Guest
Valerie Neil says:
18 March 2016

I like it paid 4-weekly as four times a year we get two payments in the same month!

Guest
demeter says:
18 March 2016

it works for us, because of the occupational pension, but it is easy to see that if someone is dependent soley on the state pension, 4 weeks is a pretty stupid arrangement, everything else is monthly.