Christmas Opening Hours


Our Christmas opening hours are as follows:

Friday 22nd December 2017: 8.30am – 14.30pm

Monday 25th December 2017: Closed

Tuesday 26th December 2017: Closed

Wednesday 27th December 2017: Closed

Thursday 28th December 2017: Closed

Friday 29th December 2017: Closed

Monday 1st January 2018: Closed

Tuesday 2nd January 2018: 8.30am – 17:00pm (Normal office hours)

We would like to wish our clients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you for your continued support.


Exam Success

Congratulations to our Director Ian Trafford who received his exam results last Friday and has passed the AF7 Pension Transfers Exam.

The AF7 exam is a new 20 credit AF qualification that was first examined in October 2017. AF7 is a 2 hour written exam that consists of three or four compulsory short answer questions and two case-study based questions.

Well Done Ian!

Much Ado About Nothing

Last week, Philip Hammond gave his Budget announcement. A summary is given below and surprisingly, there was no shock pension content on this occasion.


  • £3bn set aside for Brexit preparations


  • Revised down to 1.5% in 2017 from 2%.
  • Forecasts are 1.4% in 2018, 1.3% 2019, 1.3% 2020, 1.5% 2021 and 1.6% 2022.
  • In March, the forecasts were 1.6% in 2018, 1.7% 2019, 1.9% 2020 and 2% 2021


  • £49.9bn this year, down from previous estimate of £58bn.
  • Down from £39.5bn next year to £25.6bn in 2022-23

Research and development

  • £2.3bn of investment.
  • Tax credit 12%.
  • Investigate charges on one use plastic waste.


  • £20bn of new investment in UK knowledge-intensive industries.
  • £2.5bn from the business bank.
  • Encourage pension fund investment.
  • Boost to EIS.
  • Replace funding from Europe

Electric cars

  • £400m charging infrastructure.
  • Those charging electric vehicles at work will not face taxes

Diesel cars

  • 1 percentage point increase in company car tax.
  • From 2018, an increase in tax on cars that don’t meet standards – to go up by one band


  • Maths: £40m for maths teachers; £600 premium for maths students in A levels.
  • Computing: triple number of science teachers to 12,000; new national centre for computing.
  • National retraining scheme for digital expertise.

Northern powerhouse

  • £1.7bn transforming cities fund

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

  • £650m extra for NI.
  • £2bn extra for Scotland.
  • £1.2bn extra for Wales


  • Tax changes to encourage investment (North Sea Oil)

Universal credit

  • £1.5bn to remove seven-day waiting period; new claimant in receipt of housing benefit will get it for two weeks.
  • Ongoing ability to apply for advance


  • £125m of funding to help 140,000 people

Savings Band

  • Frozen at £5,000
  • General ISA limit remains frozen at £20,000
  • Junior ISAs and Trust Funds will be increased in line with CPI to £4,260

Living wage

  • Up to £7.83 from £7.50

Income tax

  • Basic rate rises to £11,850 from April; 40% threshold increases to £46,350.
  • Chancellor has previously pledged to increase basic rate to £12,500 by 2020.
  • Personal Allowance to increase to £11,850 (April 2018)


  • Lifetime allowance for pensions – The lifetime allowance for pension savings will increase in line with CPI, rising to £1,030,000 for 2018-19.
  • Basic State Pension will be increased by 3% (£3.65 per week)
  • New State Pension also be increased by triple lock (£4.80 per week)

Marriage Allowance

  • The ability to transfer up to 10% of unused personal allowance to partners will now be allowed where the partner had died before making the claim. Claims can be backdated by 4 years

Capital Gains

  • Freeze allowance

Duties on spirits, wine and beer

  • Frozen with the exception on high strength alcohol (White Cider being used as an example)

Duties on Tobacco

  • Inflation plus 2%

New railcard

  • 4.5 million people aged 26-30 to get a third off rail fares


  • Increase on air passenger duty on premium class tickets

Fuel duty rise

  • Cancelled


  • £10bn capital investment in frontline services over the course of this parliament.
  • £2.8bn of extra funding for England.
  • Pay review will be undertaken in 2018/2019
  • Tax avoidance
  • Measures to save £4.8bn by 2022-23

Business rates

  • £2.3bn cost to bring forward the change to CPI from RPI brought forward to 2018.
  • After next revaluation, future revaluations to take place every three years.
  • Staircase tax: businesses hit will have original bill reinstated.
  • Discount for pubs (rateable value less than £100,000) extended by one year to March 2019


  • Consultation on threshold of £85,000 at which small businesses pay VAT

Digital tax

  • £200m a year extra from income tax on UK sales

Grenfell Tower

  • £28m for mental health services; local regeneration for Kensington and Chelsea council


  • 100% council tax premium on empty properties.
  • £28m in three new housing pilots – in the West Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool – to halve rough-sleeping by 2022.
  • £44bn for capital funding to help build 300,000 homes annually by 2020.
  • £8bn of financial guarantees to support private building.
  • £2.7bn housing infrastructure fund.
  • £34m for construction skills.
  • A review to be chaired by Oliver Letwin to look at ways to speed up planning permission.
  • Five new garden towns.
  • One million new homes on the Cambridge Milton Keynes Oxford corridor by 2050

Stamp duty – from immediate effect

  • Abolished for first-time buyers on homes up to £300,000, and on the first £300,000 of properties up to £500,000.


Karen and Jessica join our team!

In the last month, we have welcomed two new members of staff who have joined the administration team at Trafford & Houghton.

Karen has joined as a Senior IFA Administrator/Paraplanner. She has over 25 years experience of working in financial services having worked for a provider, a well known bank and at a financial planning company.

Jessica has joined as a Trainee IFA Administrator and as part of an apprenticeship she will also be studying for the level 3 Business Admin NVQ qualification.

Karen and Jessica have already settled in to the admin team working alongside Hayley and Nicola.

Hayley has also recently celebrated 6 years of service at Trafford & Houghton.

Thought for Today

I think this is my favourite quote, it’s something I try to use when talking to people starting in their work life or buying their first home. It’s a simple rule, which if followed can save you from so much financial stress. Like most quotes I manage to misquote this on many occasion, but this is it in all it’s glory.

Mr Micawber’s famous recipe for happiness, taken from Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

It’s so simple but so right. If you start out spending a little bit less than what you have you’re on the right path.

Exam Success

Congratulations to our Office Manager Hayley Carson who found out this morning that she has passed the J11 Wrap and Platform written exam.

Well done Hayley!