Participants in Save as Your Earn (SAYE) schemes are currently able to take a “payment holiday” of up to six months. This helps participants keep their SAYE options by allowing them to take a break from making monthly payments, for example while they are on maternity leave.
In the Autumn Budget the government announced the payment holiday period would be extended from 6 months to 12 months. This was good news for SAYE participants but, as always, the devil was in the detail.
Would the extended payment holiday only be available to those on maternity and parental leave (as suggested in the Autumn Budget) or would all participants benefit? Would it apply to all options or only those granted after April 2018? And, of course, SAYE administrators would need time to update their systems once the details had been ironed out.
Yesterday, the government announced a delay in implementing the extended payment holiday, and it will now apply from 1 September 2018. This is good news as it gives time to work through the technical issues and for SAYE administrators to update their systems. The government also confirmed that the change will apply to all SAYE participants, whatever the reason for the payment holiday and whenever the SAYE option was granted.
While we may have to wait a little longer for it, this change definitely will be as good as a holiday!