Daily Express post-Budget Comment: Ros Altmann, Pensions Expert 20 March 2014

by Dr. Ros Altmann

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AFTER years of waiting for good news, so much comes at once. Like the proverbial No 13 bus, a whole raft of policies have arrived at the same time.

The Chancellor delivered a Budget for savers, albeit against a backdrop of pitiful interest rates. But allowing a £15,000 ISA limit - all in cash - will increase the interest people can earn, since they will not be taxed on it.

He will allow people to choose whether they put all their ISA allowance into cash, or stocks and shares, rather than only being allowed to have half in cash.

If you are retired and living on savings you can shelter more money from tax.

There is currently a 10 per cent starting rate of tax for earners up to £2,880, but that is rising to £5,000 and the 10 per cent cut to zero.

There are so many good aspects for pension savings in this Budget it is hard to know what to pick. Currently anyone with pension savings below £18,000 can take it all as cash, with a quarter tax-free.

In addition, two pension pots worth under £2,000 can be cash, but the rest either has to be annuitised or put into drawdown.

The Budget extends these limits, so anyone with pension savings under £30,000 can take it all as cash and up to three funds below £10,000 can be cashed in, with tax paid at the marginal rate.

Who would have thought a General Election was coming up next year?

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