Posts From May, 2013

NICs waiver and state pension reform announced 

Employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) up to £2,000 will be waived for all companies under new laws announced in the Queen’s Speech that also outlined the introduction of a flat-rate state pension.

The National Insurance Contributions Bill, first announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the Budget earlier in the year, is aimed at making it easier for small companies to take on new staff.

It will result in a third of employers – or around 450,000 firms – no longer paying NICs from April next year.

The Employment Allowance is permanent and open to all businesses and charities in the UK.

It will also be simple to administer, to ensure maximum take up. From April 2014, it will be delivered through standard payroll software and HMRC’s Real-Time Information system.

Employers will only need to confirm their eligibility through their regular payroll processes. This confirmation will ensure that up to £2,000 will be deducted from their employer NICs liability over the course of the year’s PAYE payments.

The Government will engage with business representative bodies on the details the new allowance, to ensure the system is as simple and effective as possible.

A new Pensions Bill that was also announced will introduce a flat-rate state pension worth about £155 a week from April 2016. This will replace the current two-tier system, which is made up of the basic state pension and second state pension.

The state pension age will also rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028, eight years earlier than planned.

The Queen’s speech is written by the government and delivered by the monarch. It outlines the legislation the government wants to pass through Parliament over the coming year.

Posted by Gary Wilson Wednesday, May 22, 2013 9:39:00 AM Categories: News

HMRC's own software fails to file RTI 

HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools software, used by some small employers to run their payrolls, is failing to file Real Time Information (RTI) submissions.

A pre-recorded message on HMRC’s helpline states: “We’re aware of an issue for some employers trying to submit their RTI returns using HMRC’s Basic PAYE tools. We are investigating this issue and will provide an update early next week.

“Employers should pay their employees as normal even if they have problems with their payroll and can’t submit their PAYE until after they have paid their employees. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

It should work out the tax and National Insurance contributions for employees in each pay period and report the payroll information to the Revenue.

However, in some cases, it is currently displaying an error message when submitting RTI.

 

Since posting the above report on 08/05/2013 we have received the following from an HMRC Press Officer:

"The roll out of RTI is progressing well. Since 6 April over one million PAYE schemes have successfully started to report PAYE in real time. This includes over 140,000 BPT users successfully submitting returns.

 As with any major change, a few initial problems have been identified and these are being resolved quickly. The issue referred here is not a BPT fault, but we have published guidance to help those employers affected to resolve it. The vast majority of BPT users who have already started to report PAYE in real time are successfully submitting returns without any issue."

 

The guidance can be found at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/payerti/troubleshoot/bpt-initialising-submission.htm

Posted by Gary Wilson Wednesday, May 08, 2013 2:32:00 PM Categories: News

“Pot follows member” pension system to be introduced 

Small pension pots will follow workers as they move between jobs in a government bid to reduce the proportion of people reaching retirement with five or more dormant investments.

The change is in response to what would have been a likely increase in dormant pension pots with the introduction of auto-enrolment (AE). The policy aims to reduce the number of people with fragmented small investments to one in thirty. When people move job these pots could be stranded or lost completely over time.

The ‘pot follows member’ system will mean that over someone’s working life any pots accrued of less than £10,000 will automatically move with them.

Instead of having lots of small pension pots all over the place, the aim is for people to have a ‘big fat pot’ which will buy them a better pension.

When people change job, they often leave behind a pension pot which becomes forgotten and which can even attract higher charges once they leave the firm. The government want to make it the norm that when people move job their pension rights can move with them  if they wish.

This will reduce the costs of providing pensions and will help people to be much more engaged with their pension savings.

Posted by Gary Wilson Wednesday, May 01, 2013 9:25:00 AM Categories: News
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