New State Pension is introduced

Changes to the State Pension will be introduced on 6 April 2016. The new system is designed to be simpler, replacing basic and additional pensions with a new single-tier pension.

The new State Pension rules only apply to people who reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. If you reached State Pension age before that, you will be claiming under the old system (which includes basic and additional State Pension), even if you deferred your claim. Read our webpage on new State Pension for more information.

The current basic State Pension will go up to £119.30 a week from April.

The full flat-rate amount for new State Pension will be £155.65 a week.

Pension Credit is changing

There will be limitations to claiming Savings Credit if you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. Read our webpage on Pension Credit to find out more.

 

Disability benefit rates are unchanged

Disability benefit rates will remain the same this year.

Changes to Personal Independence Payment

The government is reducing the points awarded for two of the 10 daily living activities of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This could affect you if you use an aid or appliance for dressing and undressing and managing toilet needs. This change comes in from January 2017 and will affect anyone making a new claim or renewing their claim. The government estimate this will affect more than half a million people by 2020.

Going abroad for more than a month could affect your benefits

From May 2016, you will lose your Pension Credit or Housing Benefit if you go abroad for more than four weeks at a time. The previous limit was 13 weeks.

Your savings and taxes

If you have an ISA, the annual savings limit is being increased from £15,000 to £16,800. It will rise to £20,000 for the 2017/18 tax year.

If you’re in work and you’re a high earner, the threshold at which you’ll pay 40% tax increases from £42,385 to £45,000 in April 2017.

Tax-free earnings if you make a small amount of money online

You’ll be able to earn up to £1000 a year tax-free if you sell online or rent out a room short-term. This is intended to help people who make a small amount of money online, for example by selling on eBay or renting out a spare room through the website Airbnb.

Information about your pension

Where you go for information about your pensions may change in future. The government is creating a new pensions guidance service by merging the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise, as well as some of the pension information provided by the Money Advice Service.

The 'sugar tax' is being introduced

A sugar levy will be introduced on the soft drinks industry in two years. This will apply to fizzy drinks but not pure fruit juice or milk-based drinks. You may have heard this called the ‘sugar tax’. It will be up to the manufacturers if they pass on this tax to the consumer.

Good news for drivers

Fuel duty has been frozen for the sixth year in a row. There is no increase to car tax.

Alcohol duty

Duty on beer, spirits and cider has been frozen. Duty on wine, however, will increase in line with inflation.

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