As we move into autumn with schools reopened and increasing numbers returning to workplaces, we could be forgiven for thinking we’re virtually back to normal. Infections are still rife, however, and the government is taking measures to plan for how we weather the pandemic over the next few months.
With the announcements of early September on a new health and social care levy of 1.25% on national insurance contributions from 2022/23, coupled with a matching hike for dividend taxation, it’s clear we are at the beginning of the reckoning for pandemic costs. With a Budget now announced for 27 October, the Chancellor may unveil the next stage in these measures,
One potentially long-term side effect causing consternation is a recent rise in inflation. In the autumn edition of our newsletter we explore whether this is likely to be a transitory blip, or if we could be on course for a wage-price spiral of inflation. Those with funds in cash and bonds could see an overall erosion of their value but share portfolios will need reviewing with an eye to the impact.
Even more fundamental has been the shift in the working lives of much of the UK population as many switch to more hybrid models of work-office time. This change chimes with the gradually increasing numbers of older people remaining in work for longer. In our feature for this edition, we look at how those reaching retirement age are now more likely to choose to remain in work part time rather than make the dramatic shift from full time to leisure. Phasing rather than jumping into retirement is growing in popularity, for both financial and personal reasons.
A recent survey showed that over half of those retiring in 2021 didn’t plan to give up work altogether. The new Health and Social Care Levy Bill, now making its way through parliament, will add a further tax for those in retirement making sufficient profits which will also now have to be taken into account. The same survey showed that around a third of the group had brought forward their retirement due to pandemic considerations around job uncertainty and lockdown. The potential for compromising your retirement income, however, means such flexibility needs to be included in your planning.
We also look at understanding the financing of student loans as a new university year gets underway, plus the implications of the delayed start of no fault divorces in England and Wales in April 2022.
Our next update will come in the winter, following the Chancellor’s autumn Budget announcements. As with so much over the course of the last eighteen months, anything could happen.