Monday, 22 January 2018

Inheritance Tax Liability

Beneficiaries paid 11% more Inheritance Tax in November 2017 than in November 2016. HM Revenue & Customs collected £445M, compared with £400M in the previous November.
Have you checked the level of Inheritance Tax that is likely to be paid on your Estate?
Why not contact Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on to find out the likely Inheritance Tax payable on your Estate. Our advisers can not only calculate the likely level of Inheritance Tax on your Estate, but can also advise on how to mitigate the tax, so that your beneficiaries receive a larger inheritance.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Pension Advice Vouchers

There is a little known tax perk which cuts the cost of financial advice by up to £310 a year. It is in respect of legislation that came in to force last November in respect of pension advice vouchers. Employees can swap up to £500 of their pay each tax year for a pension advice voucher through salary sacrifice. The voucher can then be used to obtain financial advice about any sort of pension – it does not have to be about their company scheme.
Not all employers are currently offering the scheme. Employees who feel that it would be beneficial to them, are encouraged to talk to their employers
For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Proposals to extend pensions auto enrolment to younger workers

The government has announced proposals to extend pensions auto enrolment to include younger workers and to amend the way in which contributions are calculated.

According to the press release:

The review’s recommendations, which will now be progressed and legislated for where necessary, will see:

    automatic enrolment duties continuing to apply to all employers, regardless of sector and size;

    young people, from 18 years old, benefiting from automatic enrolment, introducing 900,000 young people into saving an additional £800 million through a workplace pension;

    workplace pension contributions calculated from the first pound earned, rather than from a lower earnings limit – this will bring an extra £2.6 billion into pension saving, improving incentives for people in multiple jobs to opt-in, and simplifying the way employers assess their workforces and calculate contributions;

    the earnings trigger remaining at £10,000 for 2018/19, subject to annual reviews;

    contribution levels reviewed after the implementation of the 8% contribution rate in 2019;

    the government testing a series of ‘targeted interventions’ – including through opportunities to work with organisations who act as ‘touch points’ for the 4.8 million self-employed people, such as banks and those who contract labour – to explore how technology can be used to increase their pension saving.’

Under auto enrolment, employers are required to automatically enrol all eligible workers (generally employees) into a workplace pension scheme and pay a minimum contribution into their pension. Employees do, however, have the right to opt out of auto enrolment.

Currently workers who are aged between 22 and the State Pension Age with earnings of £10,000 per annum are eligible to be auto enrolled. Younger employees and those who do not meet the minimum income requirement can opt to make pension contributions.

The government plan to reduce the lower age limit to 18 by the mid 2020s, in order to encourage younger workers to get into ‘the habit of saving’.

David Gaulke, Work and Pensions Secretary said:

‘We are committed to enabling more people to save while they are working, so that they can enjoy greater financial security when they retire. We know the world of work is changing, so it is only right that pension saving does too. This ambitious package will see more people than ever before helped onto the path towards building a secure retirement.’

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), stated:

‘Requiring employers to contribute from the first pound of earnings will mean that, by 2019, hundreds of thousands of small employers will have to pay up to £180 more per employee each year. ‘For employers in certain sectors, such as care and hospitality where margins are tight, this will really add up.’

Internet links: GOV.UK news FSB press release

If you would like help or advice on complying with your Auto Enrolment duties please contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on