'Unnecessary' pension plans blasted

Piggy bankProposed European Commission pension changes would be a "disaster" for British business, forcing billions of pounds of extra costs and leading to thousands of job losses, a new report has claimed.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said long-term growth would also be cut by a potential 2.5% if the plans to require pension schemes run by individual employers to operate like insurance firms go through.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

A study for the business group by economic consultants Oxford Economics claimed that extra costs could total £350 billion and 180,000 jobs could be lost.

CBI chief policy director Katja Hall said: "Imposing £350 billion more costs on business would be a disaster for the economy and for pension saving.

"The long-term economic outlook is so fragile and uncertain that it is crazy to entertain proposals which would cost jobs and cut so deeply into our long-term growth and competitiveness.

"Workplace pensions are vital to ensuring people have enough money for their retirement when life expectancy is rising - so future generations are not hit with huge bills or driven into poverty.

"The European Commission's wrong-headed proposal will do nothing to help us cope with the burden of retirement.

"We have a tough regulatory system in this country, so these changes are completely unnecessary.

"It's alarming the commission is still turning a deaf ear to calls from businesses, trade unions and pension funds to bin these proposals.

"The European Commission must leave individual EU members to deal with their own retirement saving systems, as they do at the moment, rather than imposing a new system from the centre."



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'Unnecessary' pension plans blasted

If you wear a uniform of any kind to work and have to wash, repair or replace it yourself, you may be able to reclaim tax paid over the last four years. For some people, this could mean a windfall worth hundreds of pounds

The interest you receive on savings accounts (with the exception of cash Isas) is automatically taxed at a rate of 20%.

Higher-rate taxpayers therefore tend to owe money on the interest they are paid throughout the year. If, however, you are on a low income or not earning at all, you should be able to claim all or some of the tax deducted back

You can apply for a refund of vehicle tax if you are the current registered keeper or were the last registered keeper of your vehicle that no longer needs a tax disc

If you pay tax on a company, personal or State Pension through PAYE (the system employers use to deduct tax from your wages), you may well end up overpaying

There is a limit to the amount you need to pay in NI, whether or not you work for an employer.

Instances in which you may find that you have overpaid include if you work two or more jobs and earn more than £817 a week and if you move from self-employment to employment, but continue to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions

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