Monthly Archives: February 2014

Budget 2014 Seminar

The date is set and on 19th March the Chancellor will be revealing his Budget for 2014 to Parliament.

The following day PM+M will be providing a free seminar in which our tax, business and financial planning specialists will provide in depth analysis of how the budget will affect businesses and individuals.

The Budget affects everyone in the UK from private business owners to pensioners. One of the most difficult aspects given the volume of information released is breaking it down, looking through the rhetoric and ascertaining exactly how it specifically affects you and your business.

Our team will supply jargon-free, pertinent information and guidance that will enable you to come away from our seminar confident that you understand the changes affecting you and know what planning is available to you. And if you still have questions then we will be running a Q&A session at the end of the seminar where you can raise any further issues or queries.

With the next election just over 12 months away it is likely that George Osborne will be keen to continue to promote the UK’s economic revival. With this in mind, the Spring Budget may well see a continued commitment to long-term strategies of perpetuating growth in the UK and reducing the deficit. If this is the case and the government decides to reduce borrowing, then the onus will be on the taxpayer and business owners to sustain growth. By seeking out expert advice in the immediate aftermath of the budget you can ensure are fully prepared to meet the financial challenges of the coming months.

Seminar details:

Date     Thursday 20th March
Time     8:30am breakfast – seminar will start at 9:00am and finish around 10:00am with
questions and coffee afterwards
Venue  The Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Clayton-le-Moors, BB5 5JP

Our past budget seminars have proved to be very popular events so reserve your place now to avoid disappointment.

To book a place please email Lorraine Cade on Lorraine.cade@pmm.co.uk or call 01254 679131.

Rick Brierley – PM+M Marketing Team

The future is bright…………the future is e-Payslips

Have you considered going green with your employees’ payslips?

Not only would you be helping the environment, but it is a more cost effective and secure way of supplying your employees with their payslips.

If you currently hand deliver payslips, consider not having to walk around the building handing payslips out, not having a collection of them building up in your drawer.  Your time can be better spent focusing on your business.  Similarly, if you post them, think of the regular postage cost and the risk of things going astray occasionally.

ePayslips are a brilliant solution to all of this.  Simply opt for ePayslips and these can be uploaded to a secure portal for your employees to retrieve electronically.  The service is easy to use, secure, cost effective and eco-friendly.

ePayslips will be available at each pay frequency on the published date, that you, the employer specify.  Employees will have their own employee ID and PIN.  The ePayslips website will retain historical payslips within the employee’s record and these will be stored there for future viewing and printing.  ePayslips also has an employer view which will enable you to get an overview of ePayslip information held on the internet.

Make it your own – you can personalise the payslips to your business and can add your company logo.

ePayslip on the go……. Employees are now able to view their ePayslips on a mobile device.

 

Make your life easier and call our Payroll Team to set up on 01254 604311.

Julie Mason – Payroll Services Manager

Retirement income expected to fall in 2012

The survey found that individuals retiring this year can expect to receive an average retirement income of £15,500 – £3,100 less than those who retired in 2008.

Experts have attributed the fall to the recent chaos on the stock market and shrinking annuity rates, which dropped by 8% in 2011.

Vince Smith-Hughes of the Prudential said: ‘The current economic climate has created the perfect storm for people in the run-up to retirement.

‘The impact of the credit crunch, banking crisis, recession, and concerns over the eurozone, has been reflected in the fact that expected retirement income levels have hit a five-year-low.’

It is thought that one in five pensioners expect to live on £10,000 a year or less. This figure includes the state pension and income from private and company pension schemes.

Ros Altmann, director general of over-50s group Saga, said: ‘This latest report shows the terrible and permanent damage this temporary boost to the economy has done to pensioners.

‘Savers retiring today are being locked into a lower pension for life because of the drop in annuity rates’.

For advice on pensions and investments, contact our Wealth Management team on 01254 679131

Changes to the Tax Credits System

The already complex system of tax credits is changing fundamentally between now and December 2017.  During this period, the new system of Universal Credits is being introduced and claimants will be migrated over to the replacement system.

There are some significant differences between the two systems and existing tax credit claimants need to be aware that they may have a very different entitlement under Universal Credits and, in some cases, may not qualify at all.

Some of the key differences are:

  • Employed claimants will have information provided to HMRC under Real Time Information (RTI) via their employers’ payroll so that credits claims can be cross checked;
  • Self employed people will need to report monthly cash flow figures and the following month’s award will be based on those figures.  There is a presumption that cash will be available to fund living expenses rather than reinvestment in the business and losses in one month will not carry forward to the next.  All of this will put a heavy record keeping and reporting burden on the self employed;
  • For the first time, account will be taken of personal capital/savings – capital in excess of £16,000 will prevent claims altogether and capital between £6,000 and £16,000 will reduce them; and
  • Universal Credit will only be available to working age people – not students or pensioners.

Existing tax credits claimants will be well aware of the need to notify the Tax Credits Office within one month of any changes of circumstances such as changes in hours worked, additional income being received, children staying in full time education (normally paid to the 1st Sept following 16th birthday but can continue to be qualifying child if staying in FTE) or the number of people in the household (up or down) – separation, divorce, co-habiting, death or out of country for more than 8 weeks.

What you now need to be aware of is that any notification of changes of circumstances after 6 April 2014 will automatically move you into the new Universal Credit system immediately.  All other claimants will be migrated over between now and 2017.

If you are an existing tax credit claimant or if you think you might be eligible for universal credits, please speak to us as soon as possible.

For further information on tax credits, please contact Sharon Lord on 01254 679131 or sharon.lord@pmm.co.uk.

Auto Enrolment – not just compliance!

Much has been written about auto enrolment over the past few years.  The majority of articles have focused on the costs to employers and the potential penalties payable for non-compliance, this in turn has created a negative view of auto enrolment in general.

Whilst there is no doubting the new legislation is an additional cost to employers, and the legislation can be onerous, it is not all bad news!

Auto enrolment is an opportunity for employers to engage with their employees and provide a benefit that is of real value.  It is worth remembering that auto enrolment was introduced to combat the duel effects of increasing longevity and low pensions savings.  In our experience the vast majority of people know they need a pension, intend to join one, but never quite get round to it!

Employers therefore have the opportunity to create a sizable amount of good will with employees, by providing access to a quality pension scheme and advice.

For most employees their first conversation on auto enrolment will start off with a negative statement, something along the lines of “you will have to put x% of your salary into a pension scheme and your employer and tax man will also contribute”.

Perhaps a more positive spin would be “for every pound you put into your pension another pound will be added and this will then grow tax free until retirement”.

Or to put it even more simply…………… double your money!

It is also true to say that many people will have purchased a pension and then never reviewed or met with a financial advisor since the day they made that first premium.  At PM+M we only setup quality pension schemes that include a regular review service, with every employee being given the opportunity to meet with an advisor on a regular basis, to discuss their retirement planning, utilising our bespoke one page pension planner.

The pension planner shows the employee their estimated income in retirement and can be used to look at “what if” scenarios, such as the effect of increasing premiums and or taking earlier or later retirement.

So whilst auto enrolment is something of a burden on employer, it can be turned into a positive by engaging with employees and providing access to a quality pension scheme and review service that employees will value and engage with.

If you want to provide your employees with a positive pension experience, coupled with a jargon free high quality regular review service, contact Antony Keen at PM+M.