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?
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.
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?