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Press comments: Calculating the cost of 'Spreadsheet Phil' on personal finances


If you are covering the news that Boris Johnson will become next Prime Minister and Philip Hammond’s pledge to resign as chancellor before the appointment of a new cabinet, please see the following commentary from Quilter head of retirement policy, Jon Greer:

Jon Greer“Philip Hammond has already promised to step down as Chancellor before the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has the chance to remove him from the Treasury hot seat.

“Taking over from one of the more high profile Chancellors of recent times, George Osborne, ‘spreadsheet’ Phil as he quickly became known, has been relatively reserved. Early on in his tenure, Hammond was forced to quickly backtrack on proposals to increase national insurance tax for the self-employed, a breach of a key Tory manifesto promise to freeze income tax, VAT and National Insurance. The rapid U-turn forecasted a relatively timid period in office.

“The Chancellor quashed plans for a secondary annuity market. While popular among those that resented what they saw as poor value annuity contracts, Hammond resisted the temptation to pursue a policy which may have gained short term popularity but which presented long-term risk to savers. There is no precedent for the re-sale of guaranteed income products and the government feared there was a significant risk that consumers may be duped into handing over valuable benefits guaranteed for life, in exchange for a lump sum.

“Elsewhere in the pensions market, the outgoing Chancellor also opted to reduce the Money Purchase Annual Allowance. A complex measure, the MPAA is designed to prevent individuals from making pension withdrawals and recycling the cash back into their pension to benefit from additional tax relief. Despite the obvious need to prevent abuse of the system, the reduction down to an annual allowance of just £4,000 once you access a pension can cause problems for some savers. A 55 year old still in work and actively contributing to their pension would trigger the MPAA and  reduce their pension funding allowance  if they were to withdraw a sum from their pension for a one off cost like helping their children with a wedding, or if they cut their working hours and took some pension income to make up the difference in reduced earnings.

“Regrettably, two key promises have been conspicuous by their absence in recent budgets. The government has made no meaningful progress on addressing the retirement savings gap for the self-employed, a policy which the Treasury and DWP could have been expected to move forward before now. Similarly, while the government has promised more funding for social care, it hasn’t come up with a long-term solution to the funding dilemma. Proposals floated under Theresa May’s leadership were widely condemned and the long-awaited policy green paper is still yet to appear so it will be up to the next Chancellor to address the complex challenges around social care funding.”

For more information contact

Michael Glenister020 7778 963807469

Notes to Editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £95.3 billion in customer investments (as at 31 March 2020).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial advice business, Quilter Financial Planning; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

Wealth Platforms includes Old Mutual Wealth UK platform and Quilter International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore.

The Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business was acquired by ReAssure Group Plc on 2 January 2020.

Since its IPO in June 2018, Quilter plc’s businesses have progressively rebranded to Quilter, as follows: 

  • Quilter Financial Planning (previously Intrinsic)
  • Quilter Private Client Advisers (previously Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers)
  • Quilter Financial Advisers (previously Charles Derby Group)
  • Quilter Financial Adviser School
  • Quilter Cheviot
  • Quilter Investors
  • Old Mutual Wealth (becoming Quilter Investment Platform in 2020)
  • Quilter International (previously Old Mutual International)

This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.

Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

This communication is issued by Quilter plc.  Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270.  Registered in England.