What paraplanners would like to see in the 2024 Spring Budget?

27 February 2024

In the second report from our recent parameters survey, Fiona Bond reveals what paraplanners would like to see the Chancellor implement on 6 March.

The survey revealed a number of different areas that paraplanners believe the Chancellor should tackle in his Spring statement, including clarification around pension lifetime allowance plans, a halt to plans to reduce capital gains tax allowances and an increase in the personal allowance threshold.

One paraplanner said a focus on pensions would be welcomed by the industry.

“Pensions is a biggie at the moment, including clarification on auto enrolment legislation. At present the system is a “better than nothing” approach to pensions, however, a person who comes to retirement with solely auto-enrolment provisions is unlikely to be able to sustain their desired lifestyle, especially with state pension eligibility potentially being moved further back in the future.”

They added: “Education around pension from the government would also be beneficial as many people still don’t understand the value and importance of having these in place.”

Another paraplanner said there should be a discussion around removing the triple lock. “It is too generous and I don’t think it can or should go on. There should be a more realistic increase each year that is affordable.”

Another called for more encouragement for people to save, either generally or for retirement.

“If the State Pension age is likely to be extended further, personal pensions will be crucial. Also lowering the difference between the benefits produced from public sector and private sector pensions – maybe some sort of increased contribution benefits for DC,” they said.

The personal allowance also featured heavily, with paraplanners calling for the Chancellor to focus on “bottom up tax breaks” such as increasing the personal allowance threshold rather than reducing tax for the wealthy.

One told Professional Paraplanner: “The chancellor should look at the personal income tax thresholds with a view to start increasing by earnings, CPI or a fixed amount each year. By continually freezing the allowances, this is a stealth tax and is not fair in my opinion.”

Another area that came under the spotlight was the Child Benefit charge, with calls for the £50,000 earnings threshold to be raised.

One paraplanner said they would welcome changes to Child Benefit: “It has been £50,000 since it was introduced and needs increasing as it has never gone up with average earnings. Or as a minimum, make it a joint threshold income of say £100,000 or £80,000. It is a wholly unfair system on someone earning when a couple can earn £99,999 between them but still receive full child benefit versus a family with one earner of £60,000 and lose the lot.”

Another paraplanner said they would like to see greater certainty around care home costs and limits which would help individuals with their financial and retirement planning going forward.

They added: “Care home costs have been in the background for so long, yet no decisions have ever been made on limits and maximums. This would give a finite amount that would help greatly with financial and retirement planning, and to be fair, our frail and infirm are not looked after adequately, especially those who have worked their whole lives and paid into the system and now cannot get any assistance when they need it.”

Professional Paraplanner