Ten key dates in 2018

January 10th, 2018

The Spring Statement, Autumn Budget and tax year-end are all obvious ones to keep in mind. Nevertheless, we’ve included several others below for you to take note of…

31 January – Self-assessment deadline 

This may stray more onto the accounting side of your client’s personal finances but encouraging those who are self-employed to get organised at the start of the New Year, with self-assessment tax returns will, in theory, avoid more financial stress. Plus the earlier this is out of the way, the more time clients then have to prepare for the next looming deadline – the end of the tax year.

Early 2018 – Draft cold-calling ban legislation 

There may not be a date yet set in stone but draft legislation on banning cold-calling is expected to be published in early 2018. As the pension transfer market continues to grow, making more clients vulnerable to scammers, they should keep up with the developments of the campaign to ensure they are aware of potential threats to savings.

1 March – Annuity rule changes implemented 

As of the beginning of March, Financial Conduct Authority rules will come into place requiring annuity providers to inform customers how much they could save by shopping around.

13 March – Spring Statement

While we’re likely to see more talk of Brexit costs in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s speech, as negotiations continue to unfold, clients should listen out for changes to personal finance policy. Pension tax relief is always a speculated target, particularly as Hammond resisted the temptation for any tinkering in the Autumn Budget.

5 April – Tax year-end 

It goes without saying this should be a date to watch in every client’s diary, particularly for making the most of tax-efficient investments. For those who have left it a little too last minute to fully utilise any allowances, this should serve as a reminder to try to beat the rush next time round by considering tax-efficient products earlier in the year.

6 April – New tax year begins 

Along with increases to the personal tax allowance, capital gains exemption threshold and Enterprise Investment Scheme allowance, the first bonuses on the Lifetime ISA are also due to be paid. What’s more, the new full state pension increases to £164.35, while mandatory pension contributions increase to 5%, including the 2% employer minimum.

27 April – Review of Women’s Arrangements second reading

The bill calling for transitional arrangements for women born in the fifties and affected by state pension changes from 1995 and 2011 legislation, is expected to go through its second reading in the House of Commons. As the bill continues to pass through government, it is the ideal time to check if any affected clients have backup financial plans in place.

Summer (TBC) – Social care green paper 

In November, the government pledged it would release a social care green paper by summer 2018. It will set out how the government will improve care and support for older people, as well as tackling an ageing population. Clients may be interested in the proposals in terms of how it will affect savings to accommodate for later life care.

November (TBC) – Autumn Budget 

Any guesswork on the Autumn Budget will only really loosely take shape following the outcome of the Spring Statement. Depending on what is outlined in the proposed summer green paper, however, care policy could be back on the agenda.

November  – State pension age equalises at 65

From November, the state pension age will equalise for men and women at age 65. In the run-up to the changes, we’re likely to hear more from the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign. Again, depending on the outcome of the second reading of the women’s transitional arrangements bill, it will be worth clients considering how financially prepared they are for the changes.

 

Source: Professional Adviser