LEGAL & GENERAL AGREES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH TAX VOLUNTEERS AS PAYING THE RIGHT TAX MATTERS.
25 July 2012
For the 620,000 annuity customers that Legal & General pays a pension income to each month, understanding how this income is taxed is really important. That's why Legal & General's annuities business is so pleased to be teaming up with Tax Volunteers, a charity based in Bridport, Dorset who are experts in providing tax advice. The charity specialises in providing a service called Tax Help for Older People, which helps pensioners on lower incomes, that is those with a net household income of under £17,000 per year.
The £35,000 investment to the charity by Legal & General's annuity business will mean that Tax Volunteers will be able to improve the service they currently offer their customers, checking and calculating their tax position and to also provide tax advice to Legal & General's annuity business. By providing advice, training and support services to the annuity teams based in Kingswood and Cardiff locations, it is hoped that Legal & General will be able to give more meaningful help to all those customers who contact us looking for clarification on their tax matters.
Phil Naylor, Director for Legal & General's individual annuity business said: "Being able to understand your tax position and the deductions made from your income can be very complex. We currently receive around 500 enquiries per week from our customers on various tax issues regarding their annuity income payments. With the expertise and support from Tax Volunteers and their experience of Tax Help, we will be able to enhance the excellent service we currently provide by fully answering more of these queries. This will help reduce the need for customers to make further calls to other organisations, such as the HMRC to get their problem resolved.
When the level of income you have to live on is quite small then every penny counts and so customers often look for reassurance that they are paying the correct tax. So it will be great to be able to quickly resolve tax queries for more of our customers and help ease the potential financial worries that they may have with any tax issues on the pension income they receive."
Graham Sherburn, CEO of Tax Volunteers said: "We've been offering our tax advice services to customers for over 10 years now but, we remain dependent on the kindness and generosity of our volunteer tax specialists who give up their time and expertise to provide face to face advice free of charge.
We receive a large proportion of our enquiries for help from people in their over 60's, who are truly worried that they are not paying the correct tax or who have received a letter or statement from HMRC that they just do not understand. It's so rewarding when we can help someone on a low income to reduce their tax bill so they have a few more extra pennies in their pocket, particularly in the current difficult economic climate.
This generous donation from Legal & General's annuity business will help us provide tax advice to more of our customers. Plus training their in-house team of over 50 employees using the experience we have of helping customers of a similar age and situation to those that they speak to daily. This will help to provide advice to so many more people would not otherwise have access to this sort of service. It's a great partnership and we are really keen to start working together as soon as possible."
Notes to editors
Sources: Recent 2012 research has revealed that the average retirement income is £15,500. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/9005961/Pension-income-plummets-by-15pc-to-a-five-year-low.html
For information, the individual annuity team do not give financial advice to customers who contact us. Any comment will be solely connected with a customer's tax affairs related to their annuity payments. If there are any financial implications then customers are always referred to their adviser in the first instance.
Background on Legal & General's CSR policy
This partnership with Tax Volunteers is part of a number of initiatives across Legal & General as part of our Alleviating Pensioner Poverty campaign. To find out more details on the practical ways we are supporting pensioners, particularly those on lower incomes go to:www.legalandgeneralgroupcsr.com
Background on Tax Volunteers and the Tax Help for Older People service
Tax Volunteers (TV), is a registered charity, established in April 2004 which is funded by the CIOT through LITRG, the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT), Central Government, trusts and foundations and donations. It is however, completely independent of its supporters in order to provide impartial tax advice and advocacy for older people, broadly those over sixty and with a limited household income of up to £17000 net a year. Over 600 volunteer tax advisers run surgeries at over 320 venues around the country on a regular basis or provide home visits if a client needs one. Many enquiries can be dealt with on the telephone by the call centre or will be helped by post or telephone. Customers may contact TV directly or be referred by other agencies e.g.Age UK, CABx, MPs constituency offices, Age Concerns, the Pension Service. All initial contact throughout the UK is to the national operations centre in Dorset on a lo-call helpline, 0845 601 3321 or geographical number if cheaper 01308 488066. Further information is available at http://www.taxvol.org.uk/index.htm
Background on Legal & General's annuity business
Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services companies and one of the UK's top 50 companies in the FTSE 100 Index. Legal & General provides annuities to over 550,000 current pensioners and over 200,000 deferred pensioners. Legal & General has been an active participant in the insurance solution pension de-risking market for over 25 years and is regarded as one of the leading annuity providers in the market. It is winner, along with Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), of the PIPA award for Best De-Risking provider 2011 and was voted Buyout Firm of the Year at the European Pension Awards in June 2012.
- The information contained in this release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.
- Legal & General Assurance Society Limited. Registered address: One Coleman Street, London EC2R 5AA. Registered in England No 166055.
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