Govt closes in on salary sacrifice cap


The Government is considering capping the savings employees and employers make through salary sacrifice schemes as part of a crackdown on arrangements that limit tax.

The Budget documents reveal the Government will consult on limiting “the range of benefits that attract income tax and National Insurance Contributions advantage when they are provided as part of salary sacrifice”.

However, the Government will not impose an outright ban on such arrangements, which include pensions, childcare and health-related benefits.

It says: “The Government wants to encourage employers to offer certain benefits but is concerned about the growth of salary sacrifice.”

It adds requests to HMRC to set up salary sacrifice schemes have increased by over 30 per cent since 2010.

In addition, the Government is tightening the rules around other payments that are exempt from National Insurance.

From April 2018 payments of over £30,000 that are subject to income tax will lose their exemption, including redundancy payments.

Retirement Advantage pensions technical director Andrew Tully says: “The use of salary sacrifice arrangements is universal among the UK’s largest employers, as well as public sector organisations like the NHS, and the Government is taking steps to limit its use.

“For now the most common-place uses to reduce pension and childcare costs are unaffected, but it does show this issue is firmly on the Government’s radar.”