Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk, comments on The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

05 Dec 2013

Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk, comments on The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement:

Rise in the national state pension age:

“With the Chancellor confirming the raising of state pension age to 69, by the late 2040s, will be brought forward, those in their 40s and younger should start thinking about their long term financial plans. With life expectancy increasing, in tandem with the expected duration of our working lives, planning financially for the future has never been more important. Starting early is one of the best things you can do – it will provide time for your investments to grow, create good money habits and will provide peace of mind you are financially prepared for your retirement.  Our latest GetAdvised research shows 59% of young people feel they would benefit from seeking financial advice, with only 6% of people in their 30s saying they don’t think they would benefit at all.

“Having a financial plan in place is a great first step – a financial adviser will help you review your financial situation and tackle individual areas you should be focussing on such as tax planning, pensions, mortgages or investments. A qualified expert can save you time and money, giving you confidence your finances are being well looked after.  Our ‘Value of Advice’ report shows that taking financial advice could provide consumers with a retirement income boost of more than £2,780 a year on average, which increases your monthly pension by as much as £232.

Personal tax allowance / transfer of tax allowances between couples:

“While there was no boost in the personal tax allowance from the Chancellor, which is still set for £10,000 next April, his announcement for a married couples allowance, of which £1,000 can be transferred to the other spouse from April 2015 will be a welcome addition for basic rate taxpayers, a saving of £200 a couple.  Those with spouses and partners should ensure they are making the most of both allowances and the tax reliefs available to them. Our latest GetAdvised research shows that only 38% of us are confident about sorting out our tax planning without the help of a professional. With so many changes to tax legislation it’s not surprising people find it difficult to keep up. A professional adviser can make a difference as sensible tax planning can be hugely beneficial not just now but for the long term. Those looking for advice should speak to a professional financial adviser who specialises in tax or an accountant to ensure they are being as tax efficient as possible, in line with current HMRC rules. 

ISA allowances:

“The Autumn Statement confirms that the government will increase the ISA, Junior ISA and Child Trust Fund allowances in line with CPI. The 2014-15 ISA limit will increase to £11,880 (half of which can be saved in a cash ISA). This is positive news for savers and we would urge people to make the most of the allowances available to them. While savings rates may not be at their peak there are still huge tax benefits in placing cash or investments inside an ISA. Firstly, any interest generated from these savings isn’t taxed, and secondly, profits made from share price increases are not subject to capital gains tax, meaning that savers could give their pot an extra boost without having to do very much. Over time, the benefits of having a savings pot of tax free money can really add up so an ISA should be at the heart of most peoples savings and investment strategy. It’s important to regularly review your investments to ensure they are working as hard for you as possible. Our latest GetAdvised research shows that only a third of consumers (36%) feel confident about sorting out a stocks and shares ISA. If you’re unsure, then speaking to a financial adviser who specialises in this area is good option for you.

“After 5 April your 2013 personal tax allowances can no longer be used so we’d urge people to take advantage of the tax reliefs available to them before the end of the tax year. For a free and confidential search for a professional financial adviser or accountant, go to www.unbiased.co.uk.”

Notes to editors:

For more information contact:

Emily Falla / Kate Aitchison Lansons Communications: 020 7294 3682

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