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2024 General Election…but when and what to think about?

03 January 2024

With 2024 dawning, we look forward to the coming year with anticipation. The end of the current tax year is just over three months away and we would advocate, as always, using available tax allowances where possible and affordable. We have made a few notes below for the year ahead and the opportunity to be ready for change.

General election…but when?

The months ahead will involve challenge and change with the likely position that we will head to the voting booths, originally thought to be in the autumn, although early summer is now a real possibility. The UK is not alone in having elections this year and America will see numerous elections due to be held in November 2024.

Investment markets

Many will remember that 2022 was a difficult year for investment markets and I think the one-word summary for 2023 was 'marginal' when we look at investment returns globally. As examples, both the main American and the UK indices offered minimal returns, with central Europe offering higher performance, along with some US tech stock indexes. This is of course not a guarantee of future returns.

We believe that these example market variations continue to highlight the benefits of diverse asset allocation within client funds, based on attitude to investment risk. We recommend a regular review to ensure that your funds continue to match your requirements.

Tax 'giveaways'

We had the Autumn Statement from the Chancellor in November 2023, and the Budget 2024 is ahead, anticipated in early March. Unusually, there were some tax 'giveaways' in the Autumn statement, and also some greater flexibilities in the use of overall ISA allowances, although the limits remained unchanged. We believe that there is still some surplus available and it will be interesting to see if the Chancellor has 'kept his powder dry' for additional changes, such as the current inheritance tax thresholds, to sweeten the electorate as the last opportunity before future voting occurs.

HMRC Lifetime Allowance

Those with larger pension fund values and benefits will be aware that the HMRC Lifetime Allowance (standard limit £1,073,100) is due to be abolished in the new tax year, starting just before Easter on 06 April. Many will want to make changes in the first half of the new tax year, especially if the ending of restrictive pension rule changes are reversed by a new government.

Annuity rates

One area that did not remain static during 2023 was pension annuity rates, which saw a steady and strong rise over the year, levelling at their elevated position towards the end of 2023. For those who are looking for greater certainty from their pension values, annuities may now offer attractive terms, although of course at the potential loss of flexibility. Annuity rates can fall as well as rise and it will be interesting to watch their position over the coming period. It should be noted that many annuity providers' administration speed has been slow in recent times.

Inflation 2024

Inflation is anticipated to fall further during 2024, although it may be many months before this is reflected in any Bank of England base rate reduction, with inflation continuing to be their main target. We witnessed that the 'Bank of Mum & Dad / Relatives' was very busy during the past year, and I am sure this might well continue in the year ahead. We would advise careful consideration on large gifts to ensure that clients maintain their own cashflow both now and into later life.


A regular review of your overall financial planning with a qualified professional is a great way to make sure that you are doing all you can in the current evolution of the economic and political climates that we find as the New Year begins.

We hope that you have a good year ahead.

No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS
CFP Chartered FCSI
Chartered Financial Planner

Chapters Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, number 402899

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