Many people could be in for a shock when they check their pay packet in April 2018. That’s because a bigger slice of their pay automatically diverted to a savings pot for their pension.

Automatic enrolment went live in 2012 and but the total minimum amount paid in is currently just 2% of qualifying earnings. However, on 6 April this will rise to 5% – typically 2.4% from the worker, 2% from their employer and 0.6% in tax relief. The Mail asks could this be enough to tip people out of inertia an trigger an increase in opt-outs.

Open banking – the end of traditional banking?

Open banking is just around the corner. From January 13, Britain’s nine largest banks and one building society will be required to make customer account data available to approved rivals. A secure set of online technologies will essentially allow bank customers to authorise third parties to access their account details. The bold vision is that the new regime will loosen monopolistic grips, even up the playing field and, in particular, present a significant opportunity for challenger banks and fintech (financial technology) businesses who will be able to compete on a more-or-less level playing field. Interestingly five banks have admitted they will not be ready for the deadline.

Taxing Times

The good news for those dealing with inheritance tax is the (from April) increase on the ‘main residence nil-rate band’ – the amount you can receive before tax from the property that was the deceased’s main residence. The amount will rise from £100,000 to £125,000 per person – giving individuals £450,000 and couples £900,000 tax-free inheritance. This at the time the Times highlights that HMRC last year increased their inheritance tax take by nearly 15 per cent. Against the backdrop of a much more aggressive approach towards tackling avoidance experts underline doing the simple things will be key.

Crowd based capitalism

The term “crowd-based capitalism” is a catch all to describe what is also known as the sharing economy, gig economy, on-demand economy, collaborative economy, renting economy, or peer economy. The Independent looks at how the sharing economy is taking underutilised assets and making them accessible online to a community, leading to a reduced need for ownership of those assets. These platforms (think Uber, AirBnB et al) are redefining the way consumers find, use, and pay for services, as well as how they engage with, assess and award service providers.

Brexit: no buyer’s remorse

There was a theory (snobbish and a bit nasty though it possibly was) that those who had voted to leave the EU would quickly regret what they had done as the Treasury mooted economic apocalypse came swiftly to pass. The hypothesis followed that most Brexit voters would soon be clamouring for the chance to think again. For buyers remorse strategy to have worked, the economy would have had to contract sharply and for unemployment to rocket – something equivalent to 2009 and something that has evidently not happened.

Financial Advice Including Pension Advice, Bristol

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