Pensions in 2023:
What Savers and Retirees Need to Know

As the new year approaches, there are many changes that will affect savers and retirees. With rising household expenses and the government’s freezing of income tax thresholds, it’s more important than ever to understand the impact on pensions in 2023. In this blog post, we’ll explore what pensioners and retirees need to know about pensions in 2023.

1. Income Tax Changes

Increasing your pension contributions can help offset the effects of the income tax threshold freeze announced in the government’s Autumn Statement. A pension is already a tax-efficient way to save money, but the current freeze makes it even more favorable. However, this requires extra money for increased pension contributions, which will be locked away until your mid-50s. Despite these limitations, financial experts will be highlighting the long-term benefits of pension saving this year.

Pension savings are made from gross (before tax) income, lowering your tax cost by contributing to a pension. Groups that will benefit from increased pension contributions in 2023 include those impacted by the extra rate income tax threshold’s fall from £150,000 to £125,140. However, those affected by the Chancellor’s tax hike on capital gains and dividends and those who have used up their ISA allowances will not benefit.

2. State Pension Age Increase

The results of a government assessment due out soon in the new year may accelerate the state pension age increase to 68 years old as early as 2033. Currently, the state pension age is 66 and will increase to 67 between 2026 and 2028. The minimum pension age to access employer-sponsored retirement plans and other private retirement assets will increase from 55 to 57 in 2028. The date of the subsequent increase in the state pension age to 68 is still uncertain.

Accelerating the state pension age increase will be controversial as it forces people to continue working and denies them of additional retirement income. According to an analysis by pension experts, the Treasury would save around £10 billion if the state pension age was raised to 68 one year earlier than anticipated.

3. Pension Tax Relief Alterations

The government’s financial situation may lead to the abolition of the current pension tax structure and the implementation of a new, less advantageous system as early as 2023. The current system favors the wealthy, as pension tax relief depends on their income tax rates. Rumors of reform center around implementing a flat tax rate, where higher-income taxpayers would receive limited relief, while basic-rate taxpayers would receive the same amount of relief or slightly more.

Salary sacrifice, a popular method of managing business pensions, may need to be eliminated to provide a level playing field. However, cutting reliefs may result in savers contributing more to pensions to protect their incomes and savings from tax.

4. The Survival of the State Pension Triple Lock

The government’s announcement of a 10.1% increase in the state pension starting in April next year will keep its triple lock promise and avoid a backlash from elderly voters. Retirees who began receiving the total flat rate after 2016 will see their weekly income rise from £185.15 to £203.85, or an annual income of £10,600. Older persons who retired before 2016 and receive the basic state pension of £141.85 per week will see an increase to £156.20 per week or £8,120 per year.

The triple lock guarantee ensures the state pension rises yearly by 2.5%, the average rate of wage growth, or price inflation. This year’s inflation rate of 10.1% is the highest, so that’s how much the state pension will increase. In late 2023, overall, savers and retirees must stay informed about pension changes in 2023 and prepare themselves for possible alterations in the tax system, state pension age, pension tax relief, and the survival of the state pension triple lock. Seek professional advice from financial experts and monitor government announcements to ensure that you are making the best decisions for your retirement future.

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The above article is purely for information purposes and does not constitute advice.

Past performance should not be taken as a guide to future performance. The underlying value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up, and you may not recover the full amount of your original investment.

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