Finance sector increases female representation

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The finance sector is making strides in female representation, according to a new report from the Women in Finance charter.

The report shows that the proportion of women in senior management roles across charter signatories rose to 35% in 2022.

Nearly three-quarters of the charter’s signatories increased female representation in senior management, while 6% maintained the same levels as in 2021.

Around half of the participants set ambitions high, aiming to achieve a target of at least 40% — which the top quarter of firms has achieved for the first time since the charter began in 2016.

The Government launched the charter in collaboration with think tank New Financial to encourage gender balance in the financial services sector. It now has over 400 signatories, covering more than a million employees.

Signatories of the charter must monitor their progress against self-created targets for women in senior management and make annual reports to the Treasury.

Treasury Lords minister Baroness Penn said:

“This report should serve as a marker of strong progress but also a reminder that we shouldn’t be complacent. I want to ensure that the Charter continues to be a tool for keeping the sector competitive, innovative, and productive.”

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Government extends voluntary NI deadline

The Government has extended the voluntary National Insurance deadline by an extra four months, meaning taxpayers now have until 31 July 2023 to make additional payments and help increase their state pension entitlement.

The deadline for making additional National Insurance contribution (NIC) payments is usually six years. However, this extension allows taxpayers more time to fill gaps in their NI record between April 2006 and April 2016.

This decision came after public concern over the original deadline in April.

HMRC will also accept all voluntary NIC payments made at the current 2022/23 rates until the end of July 2023. This means taxpayers will need to pay the higher 2023/24 rates from August onwards.

Taxpayers need at least ten years of NICs to qualify for the state pension. As such, HMRC is urging those eligible not to miss out on the opportunity to boost how much they receive when they retire.

Victoria Atkins, financial secretary to the Treasury, said:

“We recognise how important state pensions are for retired individuals, which is why we are giving people more time to fill any gaps in their National Insurance record to help bolster their entitlement.”

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