In any year there are certain events that can have financial implications and 2018 is no different. Some events happen the same date every year and others are specific to the current year. Being aware of what is happening and when gives you the ‘heads up’ so that you can look out for anything that may affect you directly.
31 January – Self-assessment deadline
If you’re self-employed or have earnings that are not taxed at source and you haven’t already made a paper tax return then this date is very important. You have up to the end of January to deal with your self-assessment tax return online in order to avoid being fined.
The sooner this is out the way, the more time you have to begin preparing for their next deadline – the end of the tax year.
Early 2018 – Draft cold-calling ban legislation
The pension market continues to grow, making more clients vulnerable to scammers. A draft legislation on banning cold-calling is expected to be published early 2018.
1 March – Annuity rule changes implemented
Annuity providers will be required to inform customers how much they could save by shopping around following rules enforced by The Financial Conduct Authority. An annuity is what many people purchase with the pension pot they have built up during their working life, it gives a guaranteed pension income normally for life.
13 March – Spring Statement
As Brexit negotiations continue to unfold it’s highly likely to see more talk of Brexit costs. The chancellor moved the budget to the Autumn so this date is for him to respond to the forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. However there may be changes to personal finance policy so it is worth checking it out.
5 April – Tax year-end
If you haven’t maximised your pension contributions or used your ISA and other allowances by this date then you’re too late. If this is the case it can serve as a reminder to beat the rush next time round by considering tax-efficient products earlier in the year.
6 April – New tax year begins
Happy New Tax Year, this heralds Increases to the personal tax allowance, capital gains exemption threshold and Enterprise Investment Scheme allowance. The first bonuses on the Lifetime ISA are also due to be paid. The new full state pension will increase to £ 164.35 per week and mandatory pension contributions in your employers Workplace Pension Scheme will increase to 5%, which includes the 2% employer minimum contribution.
November – Autumn Budget
This is the real budget, it normally takes place around the third week of the month. The chancellor will announce any changes to annual allowances including the personal allowance. There is always headline information in the press, however, you should again listen out for changes to personal finance policy as much of the less popular stuff is hidden in the detail.
November – State pension age equalises at 65
From November this year, the state pension age will equalise for men and women at age 65. In the run-up to the changes, we’re likely to hear more from the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign. Again, depending on the outcome of the second reading of the women’s transitional arrangements bill, it will be worth considering how financially prepared you are for the changes.