Pensions do not seem to have been on the main agenda for the Chancellor in yesterday's Budget and only after the main speeches did we learn the main change - that the lifetime allowance for pension savings will increase in line with CPI for 2019-20, rising to £1,055,000.
Other pension changes are:
• Providing some money to support the pension dashboard initiative- whilst in itself not a new idea -providing some financial support is.
• Banning cold calling on pensions – not a new idea.
• Relaxing some of the restrictions on public sector pensions to make it worthwhile for certain people to stay in employment.
• Introducing patient capital investment for use of DC pension fund investment money – this is new but the Government is working out how it would operate.
• Moving gradually from RPI to CPI for more indices - but bearing in mind the problem this gives pension schemes it seems unlikely there will be any change for pensions. This is a deliberately missed opportunity to change the pension status quo on such an important issue.
• Publishing a paper to boost pension savings for the self -employed- a targeted intervention much needed.
Expert Opinion"All the changes are very modest and non -controversial – no rocking the boat this year. In some ways it is helpful that the industry has not been subject to the constant change that it has seen in previous years and we are relieved nothing more was done to restrict pension allowances. Budget 2018 will go down as the year the industry was given a rest by the Chancellor." Penny Cogher - Partner