UK - Workers who opt to plunge shares into their company pension scheme will receive a lucrative tax break under the Finance Bill.
The new rules will allow employee shareholders to claim double tax relief for the value of shares contributed to a registered scheme from April 2006, if acquired through a save as you earn (SAYE) or share incentive plan (SIP).
PricewaterhouseCoopers reward and compensation partner Carol Dempsey said: “The generous reliefs will undoubtedly heighten the appeal of SAYE and SIPs as wealth creation vehicles.”
Employee shareholders must contribute shares into their registered pension scheme within 90 days of the SAYE option exercise or instructing the SIP trustees to transfer the shares to obtain relief.
Despite the welcome news for employees, the Conservatives accused the government of “squeezing the tax system for every last penny of its worth”.
Howard Flight MP – who shadows the chief secretary to the Treasury – said: “The government has said it is committed to ‘creating a modern and fair tax system which encourages work and saving’. This Finance Bill will achieve none of these aims.
“Complexity and double meanings will result in businesses and individuals finding scant reward but many additional burdens.”
Standard Life has increased exposure to risk assets in three out of five funds in its Active Plus and Passive Plus workplace pension ranges.
Some 48% of employers are unaware of the services or help they offer to members of their defined contribution (DC) schemes, according to Aon.
Welplan Pensions has triggered its exit from the master trust market, with just a few days to go until The Pensions Regulator's (TPR) application deadline.