In our last case study we looked at how third party contributions can help individuals kick start future generation's retirement savings. In this case study we look at how this works in practice and the benefits it can offer.
Maria has one son, Hamish who is 4. Martin wants to provide financially for his grandchild’s future but does not want him to have access to the money at a young age. He has already rejected the idea of putting a large amount of money into trust.
Martin sets up a pension plan for Hamish, and contributes £2,880 each year. Once tax relief has been added, his contribution is increased to £3,600.
If Martin saves this amount every year until Hamish’s turns 18, there will be around £81,567 in Hamish's pension. This assumes investment growth of 5% excluding charges.
If no further contributions are made, when Hamish reaches age 60 he could have retirement savings of £633,089, assuming investments continue to grow at 5% excluding charges.
Martin could carry on making contributions after Hamish reaches 18 or he might think about saving into another vehicle, such as a lifetime ISA, to help with a house purchase.
Martin could use his annual exemption or the ‘normal expenditure from income’ exemption. The annual IHT saving would be 40% x £2,880 (pension contribution) = £1,152.
Saving for grandchildren is a great idea but Martin could also help his daughter Maria. She has an adjusted net income of £55,000. This means she is caught in the child benefit tax trap. For the £5,000 of income she has over the £50,000 threshold, she currently only receives £2,504.10 (£5,000 gross income, minus £1,946 income tax, minus £549.90 child benefit tax charge). Maria knows that making a pension contribution could take her out of the trap but she doesn’t have enough disposable income to do that.
However, if Martin makes a pension contribution to Maria’s plan of £4,000 per year, basic rate tax relief increases the contribution to £5,000. This is deducted from Maria’s adjusted net income and she is no longer in the trap.
This gross contribution of £5,000 brings her adjusted net income for child benefit purposes down to £50,000, which means she avoids the child benefit tax charge and gets the full amount of child benefit. She can also claim the difference between higher rate and basic rate tax relief on the gross contribution which increases her basic rate tax band by £1,000 (20% of £5,000) so the amount of tax on the £5,000 reduces from £1,946 to £1,746. Maria has a total saving of £749.90 (£549.90 child benefit and £200 in income tax).
Pension contributions don’t need to stop when the member can no longer contribute for themselves. Individuals who are still working but who have lifetime allowance or annual allowance issues may also want to consider the benefits of pensions for family members.
The information provided is based on our current understanding of the relevant legislation and regulations and may be subject to alteration as a result of changes in legislation or practice. Also it may not reflect the options available under a specific product which may not be as wide as legislations and regulations allow.
All references to taxation are based on our understanding of current taxation law and practice and may be affected by future changes in legislation and the individual circumstances of the investor.