No news, is good news - Autumn Statement comments

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Julia Grimes
Published: 25 Nov 2015 Updated: 03 May 2016

No news, is good news - Autumn Statement

Commentary from Jason Hollands, Managing Director, Tilney Bestinvest

"We’ve all got so used to this Chancellor pulling a rabbit out of the hat in his Budgets and Autumn Statements with regard to further tinkering with pensions, ISAs and venture capital schemes, that recent weeks have inevitably seen widespread brooding over potential “nasty” surprises that might spring from the Autumn Statement to make up an expected shortfall in achieving his deficit reduction targets. These included rumours of an acceleration in plans to reduce pension tax reliefs for high earners, to head off a rush of “last chance saloon” contributions.

"As it transpires, with the exception of a tighter timetable for settling capital gains tax bills on the disposal of residential property assets, the Autumn Statement had little in to excite financial services commentators, which is no bad thing. Continual revolution can be wearing for the public.

"Individual Savings Account (ISA) and Junior ISA allowances, which are subject to annual adjustments, will remain unchanged next year, reflecting the evaporation of inflation. There was no news on the size of the long promised ISA for holding peer-to-peer loans, to be known as the Innovative Finance ISA, which seems subject to perpetual consultation. A tiny further tweak to the rules governing tax-advantaged venture capital schemes – excluding all energy generation activities – is just a catch all exclusion, tidying up any activity in this space not already caught by previous amendments and means little in practice.

"The Government has already announced another drastic cut in the pensions lifetime allowance, from £1.25m to £1m from next April, and a tapering down of the reliefs for those earning £150k or more, and is committed to respond on its consultation on the future of pension tax reliefs in the next Budget. It should also be noted that the Autumn Statement warns “the government remains concerned about the growth of salary sacrifice arrangements and is considering what action, if any, is necessary. The government will gather further evidence, including from employers, on salary sacrifice arrangements to inform its approach”. You have been warned.

"High earners should therefore recognise that the days of pension reliefs of up to 45% are numbered, and even relief at 40% could be set to disappear in the Government's review. But until the Budget at least, the door remains ajar for high earners to make a substantial pension contribution in respect of the current year and mopping up any unutilised allowances from the three previous tax years under carry forward rules, with generous levels of reliefs. To borrow the motto of the Chancellor: high earners should “fix the roof (on their pension) while the sun is shining.”

Jason Hollands is available for further comment on the Autumn Statement on 0203 818 6664 or


Press contacts:

Jason Hollands
0203 818 6664 / 07768 661382

Gillian Kyle
0203 818 6846 / 07989 650 604

Important Information:

The value of investments, and the income derived from them, can go down as well as up and you can get back less than you originally invested.

Prevailing tax rates and reliefs are dependent on your individual circumstances and are subject to change.

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About Tilney Bestinvest

Tilney Bestinvest is a leading investment and financial planning firm that builds on a heritage of more than 150 years. We look after more than £9 billion of assets on our clients’ behalf and pride ourselves on offering the very highest levels of professional client service with transparent, competitive pricing across our entire range of solutions.

We offer a range of services for clients whether they would like to have their investments managed by us, require the support of a highly qualified adviser, prefer to make their own investment decisions or want to take more than one approach. We also have a nationwide team of expert financial planners to help clients with all aspects of financial planning, including retirement planning.

We have won numerous awards including UK Wealth Manager of the Year, Low-cost SIPP Provider of the Year and Self-select ISA Provider of the Year 2013, as voted by readers of the Financial Times and Investors Chronicle. We are pleased that our greatest source of new business is personal referrals from existing clients.

Headquartered in Mayfair, London, Tilney Bestinvest employs almost 400 staff across our network of offices, giving us full UK coverage, and we combine our award-winning research and expertise to provide a personalised service to clients whatever their investment needs.

The Tilney Bestinvest Group of Companies comprises the firms Bestinvest (Brokers) Ltd (Reg. No. 2830297), Tilney Investment Management (Reg. No. 02010520), Bestinvest (Consultants) Ltd (Reg. No. 1550116) and HW Financial Services Ltd (Reg. No. 02030706) all of which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 6 Chesterfield Gardens, Mayfair, W1J 5BQ.

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This release was previously published on Tilney Smith & Williamson prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.