It has now been over twelve months since our first client upgraded to Platinum~Pro. Over the course of 2016 we have engaged with more of you and, through the structured upgrade process, have migrated further existing clients.
Delta Financial Systems (‘Delta’), the leading pensions and retirement administration technology provider, have summarised the main points from the Autumn Statement. We have summarised below where we feel that it will impact our solutions, clients and the pensions industry as a whole.
The main Autumn Statement document is available here should you wish to read it.
The highlights are as follows:
- Money Purchase Annual Allowance. The plan is to reduce this to £4,000 with effect from 6 April 2017. This is subject to a consultation period and the document is here. The closing date of the consultation period is 15 February 2017. Whilst this change is subject to consultation, it is unlikely that it will not be introduced. This should not require any system changes as it a value in System Parameters.
- This is the last Autumn Statement. Going forward there will be an Autumn Budget which will be the main event in terms of setting major changes that would apply for the forthcoming tax year. This means that the first Autumn Budget will happen in November 2017. In addition there will be a Spring Statement, the first of which will happen in Spring 2018. As there is a requirement for a fiscal statement to be published twice a year there will still be some form of Statement or Budget in March 2017. However this does mean that the more important event in terms of announcements of changes for us going forward will be at this time each year rather than in March.
- Personal Allowances
The thresholds for April 2017 will be:
Personal Allowance £11,500
Higher Rate Allowance £45,000
These are already known and are controlled in System Parameters.
The ISA limit is increasing from £15,240 to £20,000 in April 2017.
There are a few things that don’t directly impact on Delta but are related to what we do. These are:
- Pension scams – The government will shortly publish a consultation on options to tackle pension scams, including banning cold calling in relation to pensions, giving firms greater powers to block suspicious transfers and making it harder for scammers to abuse ‘small self-administered schemes’. We don’t believe there to be any immediate changes to this, however this will be reviewed when the consultation paper becomes available, the consultation paper isn’t yet available and there is no anticipated date so we will keep an eye on this.
- Salary sacrifice – the tax advantages of salary sacrifice arrangements have been removed with the exception of a few areas. One of these areas is in relation to pensions so these arrangements will continue unchanged. Our technology allows users to record where contributions are paid as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement – this will continue unchanged.
- Foreign pensions – The tax treatment of foreign pensions will be more closely aligned with the UK’s domestic pension tax regime by bringing foreign pensions and lump sums fully into tax for UK residents, to the same extent as domestic ones. The government will also close specialist pension schemes for those employed abroad (“section 615” schemes) to new saving, extend from 5 to 10 years the taxing rights over recently emigrated non-UK residents’ foreign lump sum payments from funds that have had UK tax relief, align the tax treatment of funds transferred between registered pension schemes, and update the eligibility criteria for foreign schemes to qualify as overseas pensions schemes for tax purposes.
- Authorised investment funds: dividend distributions to corporate investors – The government will modernise the rules on the taxation of dividend distributions to corporate investors in a way which allows exempt investors, such as pension funds, to obtain credit for tax paid by authorised investment funds and will publish proposals in draft secondary legislation in early 2017. Again, currently there are no more details than this. In most cases pension funds cannot reclaim tax on dividends but there are a few exceptions. We currently allow users to record where tax is reclaimable and it is anticipate this will remain unchanged.
So, subject to the action point above, I believe there are no system changes required which is great news for us. The next 12 months is an exciting time for Delta as we develop Platinum~Pro further, watch out for more updates to see what will be delivered over the coming months.
Two of our latest 3 Software apprentices, Joe Barber (left) and Samuel Berry (right) were invited to be a part of the Microsoft stand at the skills show at the NEC in Birmingham, talking to young people about what it’s like to be a Software Developer/Tester using the BBC micro:bit stand (in association with Microsoft) with the hope to inspire them to see this route as a viable career path.
Joe Barber had the following comment:
“The skills show was a fantastic opportunity to help all the young generation decide on what they would like to do in the future. I frequently got asked “How do I start my career in Software Development” and I would reply with my experience of how I got into Software Development, I feel like this is where most people have difficulty starting a career.”
Delta play an active part in the Microsoft ambassador program where former apprentices showcase their careers in a bid to promote apprenticeships, we see this as a way for us to play a part in helping to solve the current shortage of skilled people that we have in the industry and is something we are extremely passionate about having now successfully recruited and converted 9 apprentices across the business (development and support team) in the last 5 years, which is a fantastic 100% apprentice to full time employee rate.
Tonight we are hosting an event in our Birmingham office on Agile estimation, planning and tracking. The doors will open at 6.30pm and the talks start from 7pm, the event is being lead by Brickell Key Award winner @IanCarrollUK who is a consultant, coach and speaker on all topics related to lean, kanban and agile software development.
We already have over 50 people attending and we look forward to seeing you there!
Next week we are hosting the event in our Birmingham office on the 12th October, the event will focus on Agile estimation, planning and tracking. The doors will open at 6.30pm and the talks start from 7pm, the event is being lead by Brickell Key Award winner @IanCarrollUK who is a consultant, coach and speaker on all topics related to lean, kanban and agile software development.
We already have over 50 people attending, to avoid disappointment please follow the link to reserve your place: https://www.meetup.com/Lean-Agile-Birmingham/events/234330688/
This morning we are at Twickenham Stadium for the Microsoft UK Partner Summit; the event focuses on digital transformation, product strategy and innovations being made into the partner ecosystem.
Following our success at this year’s Microsoft Apprentice Awards, Michael Power and Luke Hennerley have been asked by Microsoft’s UK CEO Cindy Rose to contribute to the keynote address on upskilling partners on training and apprentices.
In conjunction with innerstrengths, specialists in helping businesses within between 25 and 250 people build outstanding people performance, we’re delighted to have won the CIPD People Management Awards 2016, Best SME People Management Initiative. We know our business is only as successful as the people who work within it. To be recognised by a professional body for our approach to how we have invested in our people is a great acknowledgement which we are very proud of.
We are hosting the event in our Birmingham office on the 12th October, the event will focus on Agile estimation, planning and tracking. We plan on holding a number of events now that we have such a great space to host them in, to help not only our own staff learn, grow and develop, but equally other people outside of Delta within the local tech community.
We were over subscribed for the last event, to avoid disappointment please follow the link to reserve your place: https://www.meetup.com/Lean-Agile-Birmingham/events/234330688/
We are hosting a Meetup in our Birmingham office on the 14th of September, the event will focus on Kanban essentials and how to accelerate delivery. We plan to do a number of these events now that we have such a great space to host them in, to help not only our own staff learn, grow and develop, but equally other people outside Delta within the local tech community.
Spaces are limited so please visit the following link to confirm your attendance: http://www.meetup.com/Lean-Agile-Birmingham/events/232249386/
Our Microsoft apprentices have made incredible progress over the last nine months and in recognition of all her hard work Jessica Huang has been awarded the Apprentice of the Year (Developer) from Microsoft. Our Development Team underpins the delivery of leading Fintech solutions to the lifetime savings market and the apprenticeship programme enables us to nurture new talent through a structured approach.
Apprenticeships are a crucial way of providing training in vital technical skills. Each year Microsoft announces winners of their Apprentice of the Year awards to recognise the hard work and excellence of the thousands of Microsoft-backed apprentices and their employers.