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ABI budget response consumers need to protect themselves

Overall response

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI's Director General, said:

Protecting people in a tougher economic climate

"From today consumers will be tightening their belts. Many people face higher taxes and tough news about the economy. Consumers need to protect themselves, especially those who hold part of the UK's £1.4 trillion of consumer debt. They should review their finances and consider whether to insure themselves against losing their job or becoming ill.

Protecting homes and business against flooding

As well as a grim Budget today we have grim weather too. The incidence of extreme weather is increasing. Flooded homes are becoming commonplace. The Chancellor must spend some of his green taxes on increasing protection for homes and businesses against the threat.

Capital Gains Tax - no change to taxation of life insurance bonds

The Governments lack of consultation over the effect of the CGT changes has caused confusion and uncertainty for savers and the insurance industry alike. "

Peter Vipond, the ABI's Director of Taxation added:

"The Government's CGT proposals were made without consideration of the impact on consumers who hold investment bonds and the wider consequence for savers. In future, the Treasury should deliver better analysis and consultation."

The benefits of investment bonds remain:

· The ability to draw a fixed monthly income independent of the performance of the underlying investments

· That a withdrawal does not reduce the customer's age allowance or means tested benefits (important for pensioners).

· The insurance company handles all the tax - basic rate taxpayers don't have to fill in a tax form, and have the calculations done for them

· It's easy to switch from one investment fund to another inside a bond, without triggering new charges or a taxable event.

Pensions - Trivial commutation

Sarah Knight, the ABI'S Assistant Director of Taxation commented

"Allowing very small occupational scheme pension pots (less than £2000) to be paid out as a lump sum is a useful simplification. However it is disappointing that this couldn't be applied across all small pension pots to reduce confusion for all low income pension savers."


Sarah Knight, the ABI'S Assistant Director of Taxation commented

"The changes announced today, to the proposals outlined in the PBR, about the tax treatment of Life Company's reinsurance are now better targeted and clear. However, we still believe retrospection on existing contracts should be removed."

Last updated 01/07/2016