Veteran NI allowance will benefit advice, industry says

Veteran NI allowance will benefit advice, industry says

The advice industry has welcomed the chancellor's decision to waive national insurance contributions for companies which employ veterans.

The move has been hailed as particularly beneficial for the advice sector, which is often seen as an attractive next career step for former armed forces personnel. 

In this week's (March 11) Budget chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed a national insurance holiday for employers of veterans in their first year of civilian employment. 

The policy will exempt employers from any national insurance liability in the first year of a veteran's salary up to the upper earnings limit, with Mr Sunak confirming this would be available from April 2021. 

Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said the advice profession was an attractive second career for veterans leaving the armed forces and welcomed the national insurance break. 

Mr Richards said: "The Personal Finance Society fully supports any action that could assist those who have defended our nation enter our profession.

"This is a rewarding profession where you can make a positive difference to people’s lives by assisting them with their finances and veterans often possess the life skills which align with financial planning and protecting people against the risks in life we all face."

Advice giant Quilter has sought to actively recruit retiring military personnel to the advice sector in recent years, launching a recruitment pathway for ex-service men and women in 2018. 

Scott Stevens, director of recruitment and acquisitions at Quilter Financial Planning, said: "At Quilter we have long understood that someone who has served in the armed forces can bring a wealth of skills perfect for the financial advice industry.

"Many of those who come from the armed services have already developed strong organisational skills, persistence, planning, communication, and resilience, which are all essential for a successful career in financial advice."

Mr Stevens said waiving the national insurance contributions for armed forces personnel during their first year of employment would serve to make the prospect of hiring this type of second careerist even more attractive for companies.

He added: "This should be an excellent way to help those who have made significant contributions to their country to find the next chapter of their working life."

In 2018 Quilter signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which saw the adviser agree with the UK armed forces to encourage retiring service personnel to pursue a career in financial services.

Claire Limon, director of learning and acquisition at network Openwork, said: "We welcome any initiative that helps ex forces personnel find second careers worthy of their experience, skill set and service.

"We are actively looking to work with the British Forces Resettlement Service to continue to attract members of the armed forces into our network. 

"The discipline, organisation, people skills and trust are all key traits we see in military personnel that are very much aligned with what we need in advisers."