2019 has a lot of changes in store for many UK citizens. Everything from how much tax you pay, to switching your mobile provider is changing in 2019. Wages and pensions are set to rise, but so is council tax and rail fares, so what is changing and when? And how will it affect you? With the uncertainty of Brexit, and the possibility of a second referendum or even another general election is is important to get on top of our financial planning, so we can handle whatever 2019 has in store.
Here are some of the key changes planned for 2019
Changes to pensions: From April 2019 pension schemes will increase for employers and employees. Currently employers are required to contribute a minimum of 2% to a workers pre-tax salary and the employee contributes 3. From April, employers will have to contribute a minimum of 3% and employees 5%. Millions of pensioners will see a pay rise also, for those who receive the basic state pension, will see a boost of £3.25 a week which takes it from £125.95 to £129.20, this will give state pension holders an annual boost of £169. The state pension age is set to rise also and will gradually increase for both men and women to 66 by October 2020. And how much you can save into a pension tax-free lifetime allowance will rise to £1,055,000.
Changes to Tax: Personal allowance is rising, the amount you can earn before being taxed will rise from £11,850 to £12,500 and for Britain’s better paid workers, the 40% tax threshold is rising from £46,350 to £50,000.
Minimum wages to rise: Workers aged 25 and over will see an increase from £7.83 an hour to £8.21, and for those aged 21 to 24 will see their wages go up from £4.20 to £4.35 an hour.
The energy price cap comes into force: As of January 1, energy suppliers will be banned from charging you more than a set amount. Ofgem, the energy watchdog, has set a cap at £1,137 a year for a duel fuel customer. The energy price cap is designed to help vulnerable households. The energy regulator said 11 million people will benefit from the initiative.
Air passenger duty set to rise: Tax is rising on long haul flights, the long haul standard rate of tax will increase by £16 and the higher rate will increase by £47, however people flying economy class are excluded.
More Council Tax increases: Rises of up to 4.99% on council tax are set for April. Police forces alone will be able to add another £24 to the bill. Councils across the country will approve final rises in the new year and exact figures should be announced by February and March.
Train fares rise: Train fares are set to get a lot more expensive in the new year, and will rise by an average of 3.1%. It is lower than the 3.4% price hike last year. The raise will cover all national rail fares, including season and off-peak tickets.
New rules for mobile switching: By 1 July mobile providers have to make switching easier. That means switching by sending a free text message and banning charging for notice periods.
National insurance: Along with income tax, the government is also changing national insurance thresholds. From April it kicks in slightly later – after £8,632 of earnings – but you end up paying 12% of your salary longer, up until you earn more than £50,024. Put simply, that means anyone earning less than £46,834 a year is a few quid better off.