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You’ll be aware of the announcement to increase National Insurance contributions from April next year.

You are possibly also aware that all our corporate clients use salary exchange, however, there are still thousands of companies out there that don’t.

Simply put, salary exchange could help employers offset the additional cost they will face from April 2022 and help reduce, or negate completely, the increase in tax their employees will face.

If you, or any business owners you know, are not using it, we would be more than happy to help.  See the attached article for more info.

NIC 1.25% Increase

The summer months seem to be passing by quickly, along with the promised August heatwave!

I have pleasure in attaching our August Insights Newsletter and delighted to share some interesting articles provided by our friends at Supportis, Stockdales and Scottish Widows.

If you have an article, or short blog that you would like to feature in our Newsletter, please do let us know.

In the meantime, we hope you have an enjoyable remainder of the summer.

Corinthian Insights Newsletter – August 2021

Car schemes have always been popular as options for salary sacrifice schemes; allowing people to choose vehicles that they may not ordinarily have been able to afford in return for a payment from their pre-tax salary.

The latest car schemes also allow participants to fulfil a moral and environmental obligation as, from the 6th April 2020, the UK Government introduced huge tax savings (30% – 60%) for people to lease an electric vehicle through company salary sacrifice schemes. This has made owning an electric vehicle even more of an attractive proposition.

Whilst the vehicles may be more environmentally responsible, the structure of the scheme is still fundamentally the same as traditional salary sacrifice schemes. In the first instance the company rents an electric car from a supplier and the employee can then rent the car in exchange for their monthly payment from their gross salary (income before tax or net salary + employees’ national insurance + income tax).

Regular maintenance of the car is usually dealt with by a third party.

Operating an electric car scheme does not just benefit your employees; as an employer you will benefit from:

  • An attractive benefit proposition for new and existing employees
  • Savings on Class 1A National Insurance contributions (NIC)
  • Achieving corporate social responsibility goals
  • A way to support employee’s commitment to ‘green’ lifestyles

Whilst employees can enjoy savings on their tax and National Insurance, fixed tax-free payments, no initial up-front costs and savings on fuel and running costs.

Here are some tips, as listed in a recent article from the website Employee Benefits, on how you can implement a company car scheme in your business:

  1. Find out what staff want – are your staff interested in electric cars and using the salary sacrifice scheme.
  2. Involve people from all areas of your business in the decision – HR, procurement, and finance.
  3. Review the local Electric Vehicle infrastructure – are there charging points easily accessible for your employees – on their journey to and from work and at your workplace

We would love to talk to you via phone, video call or face to face, depending on your preference, to answer your questions. Please contact us at [email protected] Tel: 0208 189 6100

A new report from Standard Life Aberdeen has found that two thirds of people who will be retiring in 2021 don’t have enough money in their pension pots to sustain their retirement income.

The report also found that although those retiring in 2021 plan to spend an average of £21,000 a year, which is around £10,000 less than the average UK household income, many are still at serious risk of outliving their pension fund.

In fact, even with the state pension, only one third of this group will have enough money to support themselves for the entirety of their retirement if they plan on spending the £21,000 a year. Furthermore, even though the average pension fund of this group is £366,000, a third have less than £100,000 saved.

Despite the concern that many who are planning on retiring this year will not outlive their retirement fund, Covid-19 has resulted in many people accelerating their retirement plans.

Here in the UK, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in multiple lockdowns, job uncertainty and health concerns, all of which are reported as reasons why some people have decided to retire earlier than they originally planned. However, according to the Standard Life Aberdeen report, only 39% feel “very confident” that they’re financially ready to finish working and more than 37% of those planning to retire are concerned that they will not have enough to sustain themselves for the entirety of their retirement.

Retiring is one of the biggest life decisions and transitions a person will make and with longer life expectancy, volatile markets and changing regulations, not to mention the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be an incredibly confusing time.

As the Standard Life Aberdeen report has shown, retirement takes careful planning and preparation and although pension pots tend to be the most prevalent option for pension funds, retirees should also consider any of their other savings or assets that could be used to fund their retirement.

Retiring during a pandemic comes with many challenges, but it will be much easier to adapt your retirement plan than starting from scratch.

Corinthian can help you meet your retirement dreams. Get in touch – we would love to have a chat! Please contact us at [email protected] Tel: 0845 2419541

Please see the attached article which is good news for Bursars to pass onto their current or former Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS) members.

McCloud Update for TPS Members

It’s certainly safe to say that the past year has had its challenges, but I am hopeful that the end of the tunnel is in sight and that the road map out of lockdown remains on course.

I have pleasure in attaching our new Insights Newsletter, and  delighted to share some interesting articles provided by our friends at Bryden Johnson, Clarke Williams, SITK and Beaufort Financial.

As ever, should you have anything you wish to discuss please let me know.

Corinthian Insights Newsletter March 2021

What are health cash plans?

Health cash plans are schemes that allow you to pay a monthly fee and in return you are entitled to have your routine medical and dental expenses covered. For example, you might pay £10 a month and that could cover up to £100 of dental costs, £100 of physio appointments and £100 of opticians’ appointments.

While it may sound similar to health insurance, they are not the same thing and you may even have both at the same time. This is because health insurance will only cover conditions that develop after you take out a plan, whereas a cash plan can be used to cover ongoing and routine appointments.

Many employees enjoy health cash plans as a perk of their job, and they use them to help with the costs of routine health appointments. However, with the Covid-19 outbreak and the initial lockdown in the UK in March 2020, routine dental and optical appointments were put on hold.

Now, a year into the pandemic, routine appointments are available, however are cash plans still a useful employee benefit?

Are health cash plans still a useful employee benefit?

Despite the multiple lockdowns, which resulted in some routine services being put on hold, cash plan claims for dental and optical appointments have continued throughout the year. This suggests that employees are still benefiting from cash plans, and it makes sense – the Covid-19 pandemic has put a strain on people’s mental and physical health, as well as a strain on their finances.

Many cash plans include telephone helplines for stress, debt management, and addiction, as well as legal and financial information, and this support has been invaluable for people throughout the pandemic.

Another important factor to note, is that the pandemic has required many services to be delivered virtually. Cash plans can offer access to virtual GP helplines, which has meant people have been able to speak to their GP without fear of the virus.

Health cash plans and wellbeing

Another way that cash plans have come into play, is in supporting mental health. Almost half of employees feel like the pandemic has made their job more stressful, and 42% of employers have lost an employee due to inadequate wellbeing support at work. Cash plans are a way to offer support whilst employees are working remotely.

One way to make sure cash plans can continue to offer support for employees is to extend the claim period, offer payment holidays, and to pay claims in the correct benefit year, when they were rescheduled due to the pandemic.

Cash plans in a virtual world

The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have meant many healthcare providers had to rapidly transition to an online space. By December 2020, 89% of GP consultations were delivered online using video technology.

Online counselling calls have also increased by 903% and counselling services have seen a 44% increase in anxiety calls.

With stress and anxiety at an all-time high, cash plans can provide a vital bridge to counsellors and preventative healthcare. This on demand approach to healthcare will likely remain in the future and health cash plans have the potential to enable a proactive solution to looking after employee’s health and wellbeing.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of health cash plans and what they are and how to use them.

As we are operating primarily remotely right now, we can offer a telephone call, or virtual video call to answer your questions. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

According to the Association of British Insurers, around 1.6 million pension pots worth £19.4 billion are unclaimed due to savers failing to contact their pension provider when they move house.

Only 1 in 25 people contact their pension provider when they move house which causes many people to lose significant amounts of money which they have simply forgotten about.

Now is a good time to start thinking of which employers you have worked for and start checking if some of the £19.4 billion is yours.

The Government even have a website to help you trace lost pensions, why not give it a try: https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details

Employers claims that certain roles can only be fulfilled from the office may themselves be made redundant with almost half (45%) of British office workers believing that the pandemic will result in a ‘permanent change’ to their employers approach to flexible working.

O2s ‘The Flexible Future of Work’ report, conducted by the telecoms giant in partnership with ICM and YouGov, found that 81% of respondents who anticipate a change are expecting to be able to work at least one day a week from home, with 33% aiming to increase their home working by at least three days a week after lockdown.

These potential changes to the work/life balance could also have a knock-on effect for geographical popularity. The poll showed that nearly half of city dwellers (41%) would consider a move to more rural locations and 63% of Brits would be willing to live up to an hour away from their workplace if the need to physically attend the office was reduced.

If the geography factor in recruiting is reduced, then competition to attract and retain staff could intensify post lockdown.

The findings of the report were released just days before Twitter announced that all its employees will be allowed to work at home ‘forever’.

“If our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen” said Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey.

Dr Heejung Chung, Reader in Sociology and Social Policy Director at the University of Kent, who is currently researching the impact of flexible working, said: “The UK has a huge challenge with the geographic distribution of wealth, and this exaggerates the problem of overpopulation in cities. If people could work from wherever they want to, without any fear of career penalty, this would create a huge opportunity for everyone.”

Natasha Newby, Head of Proposition Development commented “At Corinthian we have always understood the need, and indeed always have had members of our team that use, agile working. We know that this is important to support the business, our client’s business needs and of course to support our team and their home commitments. Lockdown has just highlighted the efficiency of flexible working.”

The Chancellor confirmed in his budget earlier today that the furlough scheme will now run until September 2021.
The furlough scheme is also called ‘The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.
Employees on furlough will continue to get 80% of their salary for hours not worked, up to £2,500 per month.
From July 2021, employers will be asked to contribute more. The state will only then pay 70%, with employers expected to pay the remaining 10% of employee’s reduced income, and in August and September the state will pay 60% and employers will have to pay 20%.
You can continue work part-time while on furlough or be furloughed full-time, as now. Your employer can either put you on furlough full-time, or you’ll be able to work part-time and be furloughed for the hours you don’t work. Your employer will have to cover your wages at the normal rate for any hours you do work.
If you want to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.