Latest news

Barry Foster

Vice President, Strategic & Technical Sales

September 3, 2020
Government to legislate increase to minimum pension age

Economic Secretary to the Treasury confirms Government plans to increase the minimum pension age from 55 to 57 from 2028 in response to a question from Stephen Timms of the work and pensions select committee.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-08-28/81494

 

Barry Foster

Vice President, Strategic & Technical Sales

September 1, 2020
Pension transfers and IHT: Supreme Court reaches judgement in the Staveley case

The Supreme Court has ruled that Mrs Staveley’s pension transfer (when she was in serious ill health) was NOT a transfer of value for Inheritance Tax (IHT). The Court also ruled that her omission to take benefits from the scheme in her lifetime WAS a disposition and chargeable to IHT.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2018-0208-judgment.pdf

https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2018-0208-judgment.pdfhttps://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2018-0208-press-summary.pdf

 

Barry Foster

Vice President, Strategic & Technical Sales

August 14, 2020
HMRC clarification on top-slicing relief

HMRC has published its Agent Update: Issue 79. They provide some context and clarity regarding the recent amendments to the top-slicing relief legislation on pages 4 and 5. The update confirms that the new legislation will be applied to chargeable event calculations for tax years 2018/19 onwards. It also confirms that the ability to recalculate the personal allowance in top-slicing calculations does not extend to the savings starting rate band or the personal savings allowance. There are also some updates relating to the Trust Registration Service (TRS) on pages 13 and 14.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/908453/Agent_Update_-_issue_79.pdf

Barry Foster

Vice President, Strategic & Technical Sales

August 11, 2020
No tax relief on “In-specie” contributions to pensions

The Upper Tier Tax Tribunal has ruled in HMRC v Sippchoice Ltd UT/2018/0087 that transfers of non-cash assets do not qualify as “contributions paid” and cannot therefore attract tax relief.

This is despite the HMRC’s own guidance, in the Pensions Tax Manual, appearing to confirm that in-specie contributions may well qualify for tax relief (guidance that, at the time of writing is still available and unchanged!): https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/pensions-tax-manual/ptm042100

This will be a disappointing decision for a number of pension providers, and clients, and potentially worrying if HMRC now begin demanding repayment of tax relief previously granted. It is not known, at this stage, if the judgement will be appealed. The Court judgement can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eba98d4e90e0708370f980e/HMRC_v_Sippchoice.pdf

Barry Foster

Vice President, Strategic & Technical Sales

August 11, 2020
The FCA bans contingent charging for Defined Benefit pension transfer advice

The FCA has decided to ban contingent charging for DB transfers (with carve out exceptions for clients in serious ill health or serious financial difficulty).

Other announcements include more details on abridged advice and demonstrating that the recommended receiving scheme is “more suitable” than the client’s workplace pension scheme.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/policy/ps20-06.pdf

Barry Foster

Vice President, Strategic & Technical Sales

August 11, 2020
Financial Planning with trusts - High Court confirms the existence of a trust despite incomplete paperwork

In the case of Bowack & Anor v Saxton, the judge determined that a valid trust had been created despite some of the paperwork, intended to create the trust, having not been completed.

The settlors had intended to transfer two investment bonds into trust and appoint themselves, and their daughter as trustees. The life company issued deed that they used effectively served a dual purpose; assignment of the investment bonds by the settlors to the trustees and creation of the trust. The issuing of the bonds and their assignment into trust to all take effect at or about the same time.

The off-the-peg paperwork issued by the life company was not fully completed; there was no date indicated as to the creation date of the trust, the trust property not was clearly identified (the policy numbers were not written in the available space on the form) and the additional trustee’s signature (the settlors’ daughter) was not witnessed, although the settlor’s signatures had been witnessed.

It is useful to note that a valid trust does not have to be evidenced in writing, by deed or other document, and can in fact come into existence orally or by the actions of the settlor(s) or by the operation of the law.

The judge held that as the settlors had signed the deed and their signatures had been witnessed, they had created the trust and the trust property was clearly identifiable as the investment bonds, those bonds having been validly assigned to the trustees. The date of the trust creation being when they were issued.

So not getting all the paperwork completed isn’t the end of the world then? Well not if the client doesn’t mind incurring the costs associated with taking proceedings to the High Court!

FOR MORE INFORMATION

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2020/1049.html

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