'No surprises' as Conservative Party reveals 2024 manifesto

The Conservative Party has published its 2024 manifesto, providing further detail on its plans to introduce a new ‘triple lock plus’, as well as its new pensions tax guarantee.

The initiative, initially announced in May, would mean that pensioners’ personal allowance, above which basic-rate income tax is paid, will be triple locked to rise by 2.5 per cent or by whichever is higher out of average annual earnings increases or inflation.

In its manifesto, the party said that it will continue to do "everything it can" to provide pensioners with dignity in retirement, using the new initiative to ensure the new state pension is not dragged into income tax for the first time.

Current forecasts suggest that this will mean the new state pension increases by a further £430 in April next year to £11,970; and increases by £1,685 a year to £13,200 by the end of the parliament.

According to the Conservative Party, this is expected to deliver a tax cut of around £100 for eight million pensioners next year – rising to £275 a year by the end of the parliament.

In addition to the triple lock plus, the manifesto provided further detail on the "Pensions Tax Guarantee", under which the Conservatives will not introduce any new taxes on pensions.

As part of this, the party confirmed that it will maintain the 25 per cent tax-free lump sum and maintain tax relief on pension contributions at their marginal rate, and will not extend National Insurance to employer pension contributions.

It will also maintain all current pensioner benefits, including free bus passes, Winter Fuel Payments, free prescriptions and TV licences.

In addition to this, the manifesto confirmed that the party is still considering the ombudsman's report on issues over women's state pensions, and will work with parliament to provide an "appropriate and swift response".

Broadstone head of market engagement, Simon Kew, noted that there were no surprises on pensions reform in the manifesto, suggesting that “for the pensions sector it appears to be a continuity manifesto with myriad existing reforms still going through the legislative process”.

“The proposed National Insurance cut for the self-employed will support their financial health and it is positive that this will not impact their state pension, but we would have liked to see further detail of a plan to boost adequate pension saving among this group,” he stated.

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