Pension fund reforms

The Chancellor announced pension fund reforms as a further step in the government’s plan to boost British business and increase returns for savers. This includes requirements for Defined Contribution (DC) pension funds to publicly disclosure their level of investment in the UK.

Under the plans:  

  • By 2027 DC pension funds across the market will disclose their levels of investment in British businesses, as well as their costs and net investment returns. 
  • Pension funds will be required to publicly compare their performance data against competitor schemes, including at least two schemes managing at least £10 billion in assets. 
  • Schemes performing poorly for savers won’t be allowed to take on new business from employers, with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) having a full range of intervention powers. 

The plans are subject to a consultation by the FCA and build on the Government’s Mansion House compact, that encouraged pension funds to invest at least 5% of their assets in unlisted equity. 

Source:Other | 03-03-2024
cigma accounting guide to carer's credit; london accountant; wimbledon accountant; farringdon accountant

A Guide to Carer’s Credit from CIGMA Accounting

Unlocking Financial Support: A Guide to Carer's Credit

Are you tirelessly caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week? If so, you might be eligible for Carer’s Credit, a National Insurance credit designed to bridge gaps in your National Insurance record. This credit not only supports your caregiving responsibilities but also plays a crucial role in enhancing your State Pension.

What is carer's credit?

Carer’s Credit is a valuable resource for those dedicating a substantial amount of time to care. It’s a National Insurance credit that aids in filling gaps in your National Insurance record, ensuring your State Pension is based on a comprehensive record.

Notably, eligibility is not impacted by your income, savings, or investments, making it a versatile financial support option.

If you qualify for Carer’s Credit, you receive credits that contribute to filling gaps in your National Insurance record. This means you can fulfill caregiving duties without compromising your eligibility for the State Pension.

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Eligibility Criteria for carer's credit

To be eligible for Carer’s Credit, you must:

  • Be aged 16 or over
  • Be under State Pension age
  • Care for one or more people for at least 20 hours a week

The person you’re caring for must receive one of the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment daily living part
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Child Disability Payment (CDP) care component at the middle or highest rate
  • Adult Disability Payment daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate

Even if the person you care for doesn’t receive these benefits, you may still be eligible. In such cases, a signed ‘Care Certificate’ from a health or social care professional can demonstrate the appropriateness of your caregiving level.

Carers not qualifying for Carer’s Allowance may still be eligible for Carer’s Credit.

Breaks in Caring and Eligibility

Carer’s Credit remains accessible even during breaks in caregiving, allowing for interruptions of up to 12 weeks. Whether it’s a short holiday, hospitalization of the cared-for person, or your own hospital stay, you’ll still receive Carer’s Credit during these periods.

If your break in caring extends beyond 12 weeks, it’s essential to inform the Carer’s Allowance Unit promptly.

 

You do not need to apply for Carer’s Credit if you:

  • Get Carer’s Allowance – credits are automatic
  • Receive Child Benefit for a child under 12 – credits are automatic
  • Are a foster carer – apply for National Insurance credits instead

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Current State Pension age

The second review of the State Pension age has been published by the Department for Work and Pensions. The State Pension age is currently 66. The review has stated that a further increase in the State Pension age to 67 for those born on or after April 1960 will take place as planned between 2026 and 2028. Following this announcement, the government has confirmed the State Pension age will rise to 67 by the end of 2028.

The Pensions Act 2014 requires the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to regularly review the State Pension age. There had also been plans for a further gradual rise in the State Pension age to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 1977. The government plans to have a further review within two years of the next Parliament to reconsider the rise to age 68.

This will ensure that the government is able to consider the latest information to inform any future decision on the State Pension age. This will include life expectancy and population projections, the economic position and the impact on the labour market. 

The government has said they remain committed to the principle of providing 10 years notice of changes to State Pension age, enabling people to plan effectively for retirement. All options for the rise to the State Pension age from 67 to 68 that meet the 10 years notice period will be in scope at the next review.

Source:Department for Work & Pensions | 30-10-2023