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  #41  
Old 06-08-2019, 04:04 PM
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Oh, I didn't know that. What's changing?
Employers have to determine the self employed status of contractors, not the contractor.

So if they do anything naughty HMRC go for them.

(In any event the main naughtiness/mischief here - and why the law is changing - is contractors taking the piss, not the employers)
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  #42  
Old 07-08-2019, 08:57 AM
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Probably not quite the right place to put it but they have also announced a consultation which includes the treasury looking at the the tapering of the annual allowance in public sector pension schemes. Looking at how much of a hit to the public finances that would be to reverse it.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:13 AM
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Net migration from the rest of the world and the EU will remain substantial for the foreseeable future because so many people want to move to the UK. And when the next recession comes it will continue even if there are fewer jobs here because the ECB will preclude countries under massive pressure from Keynsian spending to avert their domestic crisis.
I wouldn’t overlook the impact the continuing fall of the pound will have on net migration. We are already starting to see business struggle to fill vacancies from overseas as the jobs basically pay a lot less than they used to due to the fall in the pound.

This isn’t a good thing as it basically makes our companies uncompetitive in the global market.
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  #44  
Old 07-08-2019, 09:17 AM
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Probably not quite the right place to put it but they have also announced a consultation which includes the treasury looking at the the tapering of the annual allowance in public sector pension schemes. Looking at how much of a hit to the public finances that would be to reverse it.
This is a tricky one. For all those who say tax doesn’t lead to behavioural change what’s happening in the NHS is a very live example of how it does.

However the rest of us have had to suck it up, so I am not entirely sure why doctors shouldn’t. It’s all a bit first world problems.

For instance, here’s an extract from the Guardian reporting on this

“Some NHS staff were reported to have had to remortgage their homes to cover their tax bills, while others were faced with the choice of cutting their hours, opting out of the pension scheme, or taking early retirement.”

There is of course another option, pay the ******* tax.
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  #45  
Old 07-08-2019, 09:25 AM
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This is a tricky one. For all those who say tax doesn’t lead to behavioural change what’s happening in the NHS is a very live example of how it does.

However the rest of us have had to suck it up, so I am not entirely sure why doctors shouldn’t. It’s all a bit first world problems.
My guess is you probably have some flexibility over your pension arrangements the NHS pension lack this. The other part of the consultation is to give that flexibility to the NHS scheme.

The problem is a Dr on £150k will pay £21,750 in pension and get taxed on £128,250. If the just pension only half their income, they pay between £10-11k in pension but they will be taxed on £140k. Either way their tax bill increases significantly but the second way they reduce their final pension and possibly delay retirement too.

If they only work half the time and pension all their income, they see themselves as better off. Working less, seeing more of the money they earn etc.

It has also all come too late - GPs were retiring at alarming rates 3 years ago because of this. It is only now the consultants have cottoned onto it and waiting lists are going up that action is being taken. All too late though, we have lost too many doctors because of it.
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  #46  
Old 07-08-2019, 09:27 AM
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My guess is you probably have some flexibility over your pension arrangements the NHS pension lack this. The other part of the consultation is to give that flexibility to the NHS scheme.

The problem is a Dr on £150k will pay £21,750 in pension and get taxed on £128,250. If the just pension only half their income, they pay between £10-11k in pension but they will be taxed on £140k. Either way their tax bill increases significantly but the second way they reduce their final pension and possibly delay retirement too.

If they only work half the time and pension all their income, they see themselves as better off. Working less, seeing more of the money they earn etc.

It has also all come too late - GPs were retiring at alarming rates 3 years ago because of this. It is only now the consultants have cottoned onto it and waiting lists are going up that action is being taken. All too late though, we have lost too many doctors because of it.
Actually no I don’t, well no more than they do. My choice, and it grates certainly - it’s the biggest tax rise I have ever seen - is to pay the tax. This is a choice some (or a lot) of doctors are choosing not to do.

In retrospect I have even less choice than them. Anything over £10k that goes into my pension is effectively going to be taxed at 90%. Due to the nature of my employer’s pension arrangements my choices are limited to have a pension or don’t have a pension (which also means losing the life insurance as well). I’ve chosen to continue to have a pension and suffer the tax hit.

Bear in mind these rules do not target those who are just about managing. You’re taking about doctors who earn plenty of coin here. The rules were designed to impact those could can afford to pay it. So my sympathies are pretty limited.
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  #47  
Old 07-08-2019, 12:36 PM
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A number of my friends are reaching 60 and carrying on working. They then get stung by tax because they have their wage and part of the pension (the bits that used to accrue at 60 years ago). For the first time they find themselves paying 40% tax. The government at some stage will have to think about whether they want people to retire or to carry on working until they drop. I suspect it is the latter. The other point my friends are starting to find is that when they retire they lose their life assurance and private medicine and that really does make people change their views.
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  #48  
Old 07-08-2019, 09:04 PM
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Actually no I don’t, well no more than they do. My choice, and it grates certainly - it’s the biggest tax rise I have ever seen - is to pay the tax. This is a choice some (or a lot) of doctors are choosing not to do.

In reterospect I have even less choice than them. Anything over £10k that goes into my pension is effectively going to be taxed at 90%. Due to the nature of my employer’s pension arrangements my choices are limited to have a pension or don’t have a pension (which also means losing the life insurance as well). I’ve chosen to continue to have a pension and suffer the tax hit.

Bear in mind these rules do not target those who are just about managing. You’re taking about doctors who earn plenty of coin here. The rules were designed to impact those could can afford to pay it. So my sympathies are pretty limited.
I think that the situation with doctors is more complex than you are suggesting as they are in defined benefits schemes and the rules can result in some very surprising tax bills. I worked in the public sector and people did very careful sums before going for a promotion as getting a promotion could result in an additional tax bill that was greater than your increase in pay. Hence the effective tax rate was more than 100%. I do not know the details for the NHS but I could imagine that something similar is happening there.
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  #49  
Old 08-08-2019, 05:13 AM
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I think that the situation with doctors is more complex than you are suggesting as they are in defined benefits schemes and the rules can result in some very surprising tax bills. I worked in the public sector and people did very careful sums before going for a promotion as getting a promotion could result in an additional tax bill that was greater than your increase in pay. Hence the effective tax rate was more than 100%. I do not know the details for the NHS but I could imagine that something similar is happening there.
I am exceptionally familiar with how the rules work. We have DC and a variety of DB schemes where I work and people bitch to me about it all the time, like I am a trustee of the schemes or something (I am not).
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:04 AM
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Nerd alert
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:42 AM
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I am exceptionally familiar with how the rules work. We have DC and a variety of DB schemes where I work and people bitch to me about it all the time, like I am a trustee of the schemes or something (I am not).
Any chance you could, in simple terms, use your exceptional familiarity to explain how the doctors are having financial problems with their pensions through working overtime?
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  #52  
Old 08-08-2019, 08:18 AM
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Sure, although it is not simple. And I am on a phone so i’ll do this in parts

Basically the annual amount of tax free benefit for pension contributions (made by both the individual and the employer) that people are allowed has been reduced from £255k about a decade ago to £40k. For high earners this is further reduced to £10k

If you have total pension contributions in excess of your annual allowance then you have to pay tax on them at your marginal rate (basically it becomes your top slice of income) which is an arse as you also have to pay tax on the amounts you draw out of your pension in the future - so in effect you are taxed twice.

For DC Schemes it’s pretty easy to work out your annual amounts put into your pension, it’s basically your contributions, your employers and anything anyone else has put in). If the sum of that is greater than your annual allowance you pay tax on the excess. For DB schemes the calculation is more complex as you wed to work out the “increase in the value of member benefits in the year”. This is a complicated calculation but the pension company work it out for you.

The restriction down to £10k only impacts people whose “threshold income” is over £110k. Threshold income is a complex calculation but at a very very high level is your taxable income (so after the benefit of pension contributions and the like). If you have threshold income of more than £110k you need to care. So people with threshold income of over £110k then need to work out something called adjusted income. Adjusted income is another complicated calculation but is broadly your taxable income plus your employers’ contributions. If the adjusted income is more than £150k then you start to lose some of your £40k annual allowance. You lose £1 of annual allowance for each £2 your adjusted income is over £150k. So if your adjusted income is £170k you lose £10k of annual allowance and have a £30k annual allowance. If your adjusted income is £210k or higher your annual allowance is restricted to £10.
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  #53  
Old 08-08-2019, 08:23 AM
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Sure, although it is not simple. And I am on a phone so i’ll do this in parts

Basically the annual amount of tax free benefit for pension contributions (made by both the individual and the employer) that people are allowed has been reduced from £255k about a decade ago to £40k. For high earners this is further reduced to £10k

If you have total pension contributions in excess of your annual allowance then you have to pay tax on them at your marginal rate (basically it becomes your top slice of income) which is an arse as you also have to pay tax on the amounts you draw out of your pension in the future - so in effect you are taxed twice.

For DC Schemes it’s pretty easy to work out your annual amounts put into your pension, it’s basically your contributions, your employers and anything anyone else has put in). If the sum of that is greater than your annual allowance you pay tax on the excess. For DB schemes the calculation is more complex as you wed to work out the “increase in the value of member benefits in the year”. This is a complicated calculation but the pension company work it out for you.

The restriction down to £10k only impacts people whose “threshold income” is over £110k. Threshold income is a complex calculation but at a very very high level is your taxable income (so after the benefit of pension contributions and the like). If you have threshold income of more than £110k you need to care. So people with threshold income of over £110k then need to work out something called adjusted income. Adjusted income is another complicated calculation but is broadly your taxable income plus your employers’ contributions. If the adjusted income is more than £150k then you start to lose some of your £40k annual allowance. You lose £1 of annual allowance for each £2 your adjusted income is over £150k. So if your adjusted income is £170k you lose £10k of annual allowance and have a £30k annual allowance. If your adjusted income is £210k or higher your annual allowance is restricted to £10.

I withdraw my nerd comment.
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  #54  
Old 08-08-2019, 08:25 AM
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I withdraw my nerd comment.


Tragically that’s very very high level view
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:36 AM
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Interesting. Does dividend income count as income in the same way as salary?

I think the answer is yes.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:38 AM
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Part 2

If I recall correctly NHS work on an annual accrual basis. Back in the day it used to be 1/60th of your final salary but this was supposed to have changed a bit.

Anyhue, so a doctor knows that for each year he works he gets an extra 1/60th or whatever that number is now of his final salary as a pension. A formula is applied to that number based on his salary as of today to work out his “increase in the value of member benefits in the year”.

If that is more than the doctor’s annual allowance They have to pay tax on the difference.

The issue with overtime and the like is that it can push a doctor into a position where they lose some (or more) annual allowance, and thus they have to pay tax on something when they don’t have much more cash (as they’ll already be paying tax on the income to start with, and then they get hit with a tax bill for the excess over the annual allowance. So the nee government proposal appears to broadly be take the contributions as cash and contribute nothing yourself, so you don’t get taxed twice.

Those on final salary schemes get hit particularly towards the end of the career as the increase in value of the benefits goes up by a year each year but the overall benefit goes up when applied to the whole lot as accumulated years are calculated on the latest salary.

Also if the pension pot goes over a certain amount (circa £1m) you can get nailed on that too (but not until you start claiming it). For DB schemes the calculation for that is basically 20 times your pension income. So if your pension is £50k a year, which for a consultant whose career is spent in the NHS on the 60ths final salary scheme it will be, then you get hit again.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:39 AM
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Interesting. Does dividend income count as income in the same way as salary?

I think the answer is yes.
Dividend income included as part of your adjusted and threshold income
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:53 AM
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Part 3

This is not in any way unique to doctors at all. Every industry with highly paid people faces this issue. The point is that these are people who can afford to pay the tax.

The problem is that these are also people who have made enough money that they can choose not to by retiring early, or not doing overtime and the like. We have people towards the ends of their careers saying there is no point continuing to work because I get little additional benefit for it, and they choose to retire.

So as I said I have little sympathy. These are people who can afford to pay the tax and choose not to. But at the same time it does rather show the behavioural change affect of tax rises.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:53 PM
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The problem is that these are also people who have made enough money that they can choose not to by retiring early, or not doing overtime and the like. We have people towards the ends of their careers saying there is no point continuing to work because I get little additional benefit for it, and they choose to retire.
Which isn't necessarily a bad thing in most* industries as it would hopefully allow those further down the food chain to start moving up into their positions.

*not the NHS
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sirdougie View Post
Which isn't necessarily a bad thing in most* industries as it would hopefully allow those further down the food chain to start moving up into their positions.

*not the NHS
Why is people leaving a business any less of a threat to those businesses than it is to the NHS? Why are those businesses any more prepared than the NHS is? This law was announced in July 2015 with effect from 2016. It was expected to raise over £1bn a year from 2020. At the time the general view was this is a good plan, these people can afford to contribute more.

Every business should have a succession plan, certainly but when you start to see rapid behavioural change, in this case losing senior people at an unexpected rate, those succession plans are seriously stretched. You cannot magic five years of experience into people just like that, whether they be a doctor or an engineer or whatever. There are negative consequences on the business.
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