On November 22nd, Jeremy Hunt revealed his Autumn Statement. It was a statement that garnered mixed reactions from individuals, businesses and the media – and one that contained some surprises.
There were four key elements that are particularly relevant for investors. So what are these, and why do they matter?
- No cuts to Inheritance Tax
In the run-up to the Autumn Statement it was suggested that IHT could be slashed to 20%. This didn’t happen: it’s suggested that backlash from both Tory MPs and campaign groups resulted in the u-turn. As a result, IHT remains at 40%.
- ISA changes
There has been no change to the ISA allowance, which remains at £20,000: this limit hasn’t been raised since 2017. However, there have been some changes made to the ISA regime.
From April 2024, ISA holders will be allowed to pay into more than one ISA of the same type. They will also be able to make partial transfers of funds between different ISA providers during the course of the year.
What’s more, Hunt announced that there will be discussions regarding fractional shares being allowed to be held in ISAs. This could potentially encourage a greater number of younger investors who cannot justify purchasing entire shares in companies they wish to invest in.
- Pension reforms
In pensions, Hunt has committed to raising the state pension by 8.5% from April 2024, keeping the triple-lock policy going. This will put the state pension at £221.20 per week, equating to around £900 extra over the course of a year.
He has also promised a consultation on “pot for life” pension changes. These changes would give pension holders the legal right to require new employers to pay pension contributions into the holder’s existing pension fund.
However, while this may appeal to individuals, it could potentially take away some of the benefits of workplace pensions and the protection that comes with them.
- Investment trust disclosure requirements
The FCA has stated that it plans to consider “interim solutions” to mitigate the impact on investment trusts of the current cost disclosure requirements. Many have repeatedly called for PRIIPS rules to be removed, but more work needs to be done before a solution is reached.
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