Consumer Information

Caerus Select Quarterly Investment Review, Q3, 2018

The review covers the third quarter of 2018, with commentary by Simon Brett, Chief Investment Officer, and Peter Dalgliesh, Managing Director, both of Parmenion Investment Management, CAERUS’ Investment Partner.

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Budget Update - Wednesday 15th March 2017

U-Turn On Self Employed Class 4 NIC Increases

The Chancellor has announced on 15th March that he would not be going ahead with his Budget proposal to increase the National Insurance Contribution rates for self-employed people.

In the Budget of 8th March 2017, he announced that Class 4 NIC rate for the self-employed would rise by 1% to 10% in 2018/19 and by a further 1% in 2019/20. The proposed increases provoked a widespread outcry, not least because the Conservatives 2015 election manifesto stated “we can commit to no increases in VAT, Income Tax or National Insurance.”

A week later, perhaps appropriately on the Ides of March, the Chancellor issued a letter to MPs saying that there would be no increase to Class 4 NICs “in this Parliament”. However, the abolition of Class 2 NICs will still go ahead from April 2018, meaning that the self-employed will generally see their NICs bill fall from 2018/19.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mrs May has said that the government would review areas of difference in the treatment of the employed and self-employed following a forthcoming report of modern working practices being prepared by Martin Taylor.  Mrs May’s comments reiterated a point made by the Chancellor, who also wrote in his letter that “The cost of the changes … will be funded by measures to be announced in the Autumn Budget.”


CAERUS 2017 Budget  Summary and 2017/18 Tax Tables

The Chancellor’s Budget on 8th March was the first of two due in 2017. The final spring Budget came little more than three months after an Autumn Statement that suggested government finances had taken a post-referendum turn for the worse.

However, the latest short-term economic numbers turned out much better than the Office for Budgetary Responsibility’s (OBR’s) November projections.

This good news gave the Chancellor a little ‘wriggle room’, but instead he chose to offset some modest increases in spending – mostly focused on social care – with tax and NIC rises mainly aimed at the self-employed. For once, the volume of Budget documents issued by the Treasury shrank significantly, but there were still some surprises to be found in the detail.

One example was the move to levy a 25% tax charge from 9th March 2017 on most transfers to qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS), even though the Autumn Statement had announced a tightening of the QROPS rules.

The cut in the dividend allowance from 2018/19 was also unexpected and catches not just the target one-person companies. Personal investors with equity-based portfolios worth more than about £60,000 (based on current UK dividend yields) will pay more tax. Ironically one effect will be to increase the appeal of ISAs, which benefit from a large contribution limit rise next month.

The Chancellor resisted making any announcements about future increases to the personal allowance or higher rate threshold, presumably saving some good news for his autumn set piece.

Click here for the 2017 Budget Summary

Click Here for the CAERUS 2017/18 Tax Tables


Pension Reforms - 2015

From 6th April 2015, a number of major changes to pension rules will come into effect. First proposed in a consultation paper Freedom and choice in pensions, March 2014, and announced to the nation in the Chancellor’s Budget 2014 speech, these changes have been variously described as “The most radical changes to pensions in almost a century”, “the biggest changes to savings in a generation” and “revolutionising the pension landscape”. Here we provide a brief outline of the new rules and who may be affected by them.

Download the full Fact Sheet


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