Employee participants in save-as-you-earn schemes will be able to suspend payments into a scheme for up to 12 months, rather than the current maximum of six months, following confirmation of an autumn budget statement by HMRC. Implementation of the new rules, however, has been delayed from April to September 2018 to ‘allow for software changes and testing’, according to Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury.
In answer to a series of written questions, he said:
'The government announced at Autumn Budget that it would extend the save-as-you-earn (SAYE) contributions holiday from six to 12 months for those on maternity and parental leave from 6 April 2018. After receiving representations from the share plan industry, the government is delaying the implementation of this change until 1 September 2018 to allow for software changes and testing.
The government will, from the same date, extend the SAYE contributions holiday to 12 months for all SAYE plans. This change will extend the benefit to all SAYE participants, including those with pre-existing contracts.'