Barely two months after the last small businesses moved into the auto-enrolment pensions regime, the clock is now ticking to a big increase in the cost of the scheme. From 6 April, the first day of the 2018-2019 tax year, the minimum contribution employers must make to the pension pots of their employees will double from 1% of pensionable pay to 2%  (pensions planning).

The smallest businesses, which may only just have got used to paying pension contributions, may find the higher costs particularly hard to deal with. One possibility is to seek to reduce costs elsewhere. Research published by the DWP suggested some employers plan to deal with the higher bill for pensions by offering less generous salary increases, keeping their overall pay and benefits costs down (pensions planning).

Britain gets a pay-rise

After a year long squeeze on real incomes figures released on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics is expected to reveal average wages in February are 3% higher than the same time last year – and above inflation currently at 2.7%. If true this would also be the first time wage increases have beaten consumer price index rises since January last year.

Global economy

The head of the IMF has waded into the US-China trade spat damning tariffs and protectionism and warning governments that global growth will eventually slow. As tensions between the US and China on trade remain fierce Christine Lagarde told an audience in Hong Kong that governments need to steer clear of protectionism, pointing out that the imposition of tariffs hurt everyone, especially poor customers. In a stinging critique of US economic policy, Ms Lagarde said the country could resolve its trade deficit with the world by curbing public spending and increasing revenue.

Financial Advice Including Pension Advice, Bristol

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