The Practitioner: The promise of the pension pot

SO ANOTHER BUDGET has come and gone. It seems to have passed with very little fuss this time.

Clients seem to be less bothered about it’s content than they have been in the past. Maybe this is because they are feeling more confident about things and are less dependent on any ‘help’ offered by the chancellor.

Personally, I am quite excited about the contents of this Budget. Two things in particular get the pulses racing; the pension drawdown reform, and the making of SEIS a permanent tax shelter.

The two are possibly linked in my opinion, although how many pensioners will want to invest in owner-managed businesses to save tax is up for debate.

As a firm we have yet to embark on our first SEIS case, although not through the want of trying. We have several clients interested in investing, if only they could find the right investment. Part of the problem I think, also, is timing. Clients always want to know about tax saving ideas a couple of days before the end of the tax year, which obviously doesn’t give us enough time to put such proposals into action.

Being brutally honest we are guilty as a firm of not being proactive enough when it comes to personal tax year-end planning. So much emphasis seems to be placed on corporate year-ends and making sure we hold pre-year meetings for those corporate clients, that we overlook the obvious.

The opinion of IFAs I have spoken with is mixed on the impact of the Budget.
The ones I would have expected to be against the reforms are, and those with a brighter outlook on life in general are excited by the possibilities. If I was an IFA I would be pleased that more cash is potentially being freed up to invest with. Surely the changes actually extend the shelf life of a pensioner as far as the IFA is concerned? They can advise them for longer.

Maybe we need to set up a website to hook pensioners who want to invest cash with business owners who want to expand.

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from within their own practice – having left a regional firm in the heart of England

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