Autumn Budget 2017 – Key Points for Doctors

At each Budget, anything can change in the world of tax – tax rates, thresholds, allowances or exemptions.  As the UK budget is in deficit, with more going out than coming in, in the lead up to the Autumn Budget announcement speculation was rife over what might be targeted to increase tax revenues. 

Reducing pension tax relief and further reducing the pension Lifetime Allowance and Annual Allowance were mooted.  This would have been big news for doctors, many of whom currently receive higher or additional rate tax relief on their pension contributions and are already bumping up against the Lifetime and Annual Allowances as they currently stand.

No news is generally good news

In the end, the Budget was a bit of a non-event from a financial planning perspective.  On balance it was a ‘giveaway’ Budget that didn’t look to raise taxes, with personal tax rates and rules left largely unchanged apart from small increases in tax allowances largely in line with inflation. 

On this occasion, no news is generally good news for doctors.  Pension tax relief stays, the Lifetime Allowance is increasing in line with CPI (a measure of inflation) from next year but is otherwise unchanged, and the Annual Allowance has been left alone.

Lifetime Allowance and Annual Allowance still an issue

Whilst it is welcome that the Lifetime Allowance and Annual Allowance haven’t been further reduced, many doctors will still be affected by the tax charges that apply on exceeding these limits. 

Doctors with a 1995 Scheme NHS Pension of £43,478.26 or more will be affected by the Lifetime Allowance at its current level of £1,000,000.  Some doctors with lower NHS Pension benefits will also be caught if they have additional pension savings through AVCs, Added Pension or other pension arrangements outside of the NHS as these count towards the Lifetime Allowance too.

Doctors most likely to be affected by the Annual Allowance for pension contributions are those with taxable income of £150,000 or more, as higher earners are subject to a reduction in the standard Annual Allowance of £40,000 to as little as £10,000 depending on earnings.  Also, those who receive a pay award or promotion may exceed the allowance due to the increased salary and corresponding increase in the value of NHS Pension benefits that year.

If you think you might be affected by the Lifetime and/or Annual Allowance please contact us for financial advice.

Other key points

Other key points from the Budget are summarised below:

  • No stamp duty for first time buyers on houses worth up to £300,000, or the first £300,000 of houses worth up to £500,000 
  • The tax-free personal allowance will increase from £11,500 to £11,850 in 2018/19 
  • The higher rate tax threshold will increase from £45,000 to £46,350 in 2018/19 
  • The ISA annual allowance will remain unchanged at £20,000 for 2018/19 

If you would like to discuss anything in this update with a financial adviser please contact Richard Higgs CFP FPFS on 0117 966 5699 or

More News
Can doctors trust the rising market? Monday, July 23, 2018
Quote Mark
  • "We have been very impressed with the personal service, attention to detail and comprehensive evaluation of our financial circumstances. We would certainly appreciate ongoing help and support from Richard over the future." Jason Kendall (Consultant in Accident and Emergency), Southmead Hospital
  • "Richard provides a very convenient and personal service. Richard has good knowledge and has the ability to go through reasoning for any recommendations." Tim Mitchell (GP), Montpelier Health Centre
  • "Richard provides an excellent service, prompt and flexible. Although the level of technical knowledge is impressive, answers to our questions are presented in a straightforward manner, without overwhelming us with information." Mary Gainsborough (Consultant in Paediatrics), Southmead Hospital
  • "Richard gives me an excellent personal service in my own home. His advice and explanations have been excellent. Richard also has excellent technical knowledge – who wouldn’t be happy?" Charles Record (GP), Frome Valley Medical Centre
  • "Richard provides an excellent, personal service. He responds very quickly and attentively to queries and very much keeps me up to date with important matters that affect me - such as the latest changes to pensions, investments and taxation. Recommendations are delivered in a timely, effective manner - usually face to face in my own home." Professor Gianni Angelini (Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery), BRI
  • "It is very convenient for me to be seen at home and Richard is very flexible with timings - especially when unexpected things crop up at the hospital. Meetings are friendly and relaxed with my long-term best interests very much at the heart of discussions." Professor Gianni Angelini (Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery), BRI
  • "We have found it far more reassuring having a local adviser rather than a national firm. We have found the service excellent and Richard answers all the questions we want answering. Richard's technical knowledge is excellent, he has detailed knowledge of pensions." Paul Male and Helen Lewis (GPs), Thornbury Health Centre
  • "The personal touch counts for a lot and the willingness to visit us at home is much appreciated. Richard provides an excellent, friendly, accessible service, not encumbered by jargon or salesmanship." Professor Peter Mathieson (Honorary Professor of Medicine), University of Bristol
  • "I can recommend Richard as providing measured, balanced independent financial advice. He listens very carefully and tailors advice appropriately in a knowledge-based manner. He is very accessible and gives his clients time and clarity in order to make the most sensible decisions for themselves based on the available facts." Andrew Medford (Consultant in Respiratory Medicine), Southmead Hospital
  • "Richard now knows me and understands my financial position. I have complete trust in his advice. The level of service I have experienced is second to none. We have received regular reviews in our own home, speedy and thorough advice to any queries." John Rees (General Practitioner, Specialist in Urology ), Blackwell and Nailsea Medical Group
  • "The advice I have received has dramatically altered my personal protection policies for the better and reduced my personal tax liability." John Rees (General Practitioner, Specialist in Urology ), Blackwell and Nailsea Medical Group
  • "I appreciate Richard's local knowledge and the fact that he is in contact with a lot of local general practitioners which is useful for networking. He is also very knowledgeable about the different pension schemes and their pros and cons." Fiona Hayes (General Practitioner) Bristol University Student Services
  • "I have enjoyed the process of dealing with a local advisor and it has not felt like a box ticking exercise. The service has been excellent. The great flexibility to come to my home at a time suitable to my working day has set this company apart from others I have dealt with in the past. The technical knowledge provided has been expertly tailored to my requirements and financial situation. The manner in which it has been delivered has also been first rate. " Beth Harrison (General Practitioner) Montpellier Health Centre
  • "We have regular meetings with the same adviser who knows our profile and keeps our requirements in mind with the plans he makes. The reviews are simple to organise and are always at a convenient time and location." Mike Bould (Orthopaedic Surgeon) Western General Hospital
  • "The service I have received from Wealth West is excellent! they are more personable and accessible than large firms and are not pushy at all. They also have a very good breadth and depth of knowledge." Billy and Annie Headdon (Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Trainee, General Practitioner) Montpelier Health Centre
  • "My experience of the service has been excellent. I have been able to ask many questions and have received excellent advice on my financial situation. The technical knowledge of Wealth West Medical is excellent. Anyone who can help my investments grow in the current environment clearly knows what they are doing. I would highly recommend Richard and Wealth West Medical." Linda Buczek (General Practice Manager) Bishopston Medical Practice
  • "The technical knowledge of Wealth West Medical is very good. Richard keeps up to date with the changes to the NHS pension scheme and new legislation." Melanie Lockett (Consultant) Southmead Hospital
  • "Wealth West Medical offers a friendly, helpful and efficient service. Richard keeps in touch at regular intervals and has a very good knowledge of pensions and investments." Rachel Brown (General Practitioner) Montpelier Health Centre
  • "Richard comes to my house for meetings and it is nice to see a familiar face. He remembers my details, and advises over the long term. Richard has a detailed understanding of my particular pension plan and has explained this very clearly to me. He has also helped me to manage tax payments for annual allowance and pension protection." Hugh Herzig (Consultant Psychiatrist) Southmead Hospital
  • .