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Treasury refuses to reveal its Asp maths

The Treasury has refused to reveal the fiscal calculations behind the crackdown on alternatively secured pensions.

In a recent Parliamentary Questions session, Conservative Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Philip Hammond asked Chancellor Gordon Brown to place Treasury working papers relating to the fiscal impact of people choosing to take Asps in the House of Commons Library.

In a written response, Treasury Chief Secretary Ed Balls said this would be inappropriate and “prejudicial to the frank and candid discussions that are an essential part of policy development”.

He said that widespread use of Asps would have an additional cost to the Exchequer due to deferral of tax charges where pensions are not used to provide an income at retirement. He reverted to figures in the pre-Budget report which claimed the overall Exchequer costs of pension simplification, including Asps, remains at 25m for 2006/7, rising to 250m in 2010-11.

The Government provoked anger in the pre-Budget report by proposing a punitive 82 per cent tax charge on death benefits on Asps to stop people avoiding tax despite calculations from Hargreaves Lansdown which indicated that the tax take for Asps is higher than for annuities.

Aegon head of pensions development Rachel Vahey says: “It is disappointing that the Government seems to be letting flawed logic influence its decision on the future of Asp. If left alone, Asps could benefit the Government and engage people in pension saving by giving them flexibility on how they spend their pension pot.”


Truth is out there for advisers

Institute of Financial Planning founder Paul Etheridge has introduced a software system, Truth, which is designed to offer a comprehensive method of financial planning for advisers.It has been developed by Etheridge, founder and chairman of the Prestwood Group, alongside IFA Paul Armson.Truth aims to help advisers build stronger client relationships by factoring in their current […]

Last orders

With less than two weeks to go before the Chancellor delivers what will be, barring unforeseen circumstances, his 11th and last Budget, speculation has begun about whether he will reveal any signs of his own policy priorities.

Check out repo ‘rescues’

Brokers are being urged to protect borrowers against firms targeting homeowners threatened with repossession.A swathe of companies, such as Repossession Angels, are offering to buy property at 20-25 per cent below market rate to avoid repossession and rent it back at market rate.With repossessions rocketing by 65 per cent last year, some experts believe these […]

Greenshields to be Standard non-exec

Standard Life has appointed former Barclays Wealth Management managing director Ray Greenshields as a non-executive director.

Survey cover

EEF/Jelf Employee Benefits Sickness Absence Survey 2015

EEF stated in its 2015 EEF Manifesto that the UK’s growth prospects depend on people being fit, working and productive. Keeping people in work and helping people return to work is very important for the manufacturing sector. It means boosting productivity by getting people back into work as early as is possible, as well as fostering workplace cultures and environments that proactively manage individuals’ health conditions so that all can benefit from lower sickness absence outcomes.


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