Budget Summary

We have compiled some relevant headlines from the Chancellor’s 2014 Budget.

Pensions

Pensioners will have complete freedom to withdraw as much of their pension as they like from 2015 and will not be forced to buy an annuity. From April 2015, the 10p rate for low-rate savers will be removed.

From 27th March, the amount of guaranteed income people need in retirement to access their savings flexibly, will fall from £20,000 to £12,000. The amount of total pension savings that can be taken as a lump sum will rise from £18,000 to £30,000; The capped drawdown withdrawal limit will rise from 120% to 150% of an equivalent annuity; And the maximum size of a small pension pot that can be taken as a lump sum will increase from £2,000 to £10,000.

Pension providers will be obliged to make sure everyone retiring with a defined contribution pension pot receives free and impartial face-to-face guidance on their options.

Income tax

The personal allowance will rise to £10,500 from April 2014. It had been scheduled to rise to £10,000.

The higher rate tax band will rise to £42,285 from 2015.

Alcohol

Tax will rise in line with inflation, except on spirits and cider. Beer duty will be cut by 1p.

Tobacco

The escalator on duty at 2% above inflation will be extended until 2015.

Fuel duty

The tax on fuel will remain frozen.

Apprenticeships

An expansion of apprenticeship grants to support smaller businesses, supporting 100,000 apprentices.

Childcare tax-break extension

The tax-break available under the new child-care system will be extended. From autumn 2015, for every 80p parents spend on childcare the Government will add another 20p, up to £10,000 a year for each child - up from the £8,000 previously outlined.

Help To Buy

It has been confirmed that the first-phase of Help To Buy, which gives buyers an interest-free loan of up to 20% of a deposit to buy a new-build home, has been extended until 2020.

National Minimum Wage

The adult NMW rate will increase by 3% to £6.50 from October 2014, representing the largest cash increase since 2008. There will also be increases of 2% for the youth and apprentice NMW rates from October 2014

Tax exemption for employer-funded occupational health treatments

As announced at Budget 2013 the government will introduce a tax exemption for amounts up to £500 paid by employers for medical treatments for employees.

LLP Partnerships

The rules have been tightened around LLPs, which have made it more onerous for partners to retain their status. A three-point check will be introduced from April, which, if partners fail to meet, will see them taxed as an employee.

More information read the Budget 2014 : Documents

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