The decision to cut child benefit to higher rate tax payers could create a strong incentive for people to increase their pension contributions.
This is because somebody earning just over the higher rate threshold could take themselves out of the higher rate tax bracket by paying more into a pension, according to Towers Watson.
From 2013, when the money saving initiative is introduced, this could mean their family remains eligible for child benefit payments that could be worth thousands of pounds a year.
"From 2013, some families could find that putting more money aside for retirement increases the cash in their pocket as well as their pension fund," Paul Macro, a senior consultant at Towers Watson, said.
"The costs of raising children can prevent parents paying as much into their pensions as they feel they should. For some, it may now be a question of whether they can afford not to save more.
"For a family with three children, child benefit can be worth nearly £2,500 a year, tax-free."
Child benefit is paid at a rate of £20.30 per week for the first child and £13.40 a week for each subsequent child; these rates have been frozen for the next three years. In 2010/11, people start paying higher rate tax once their income exceeds £43,875.
An example of how increasing pension contributions could increase disposable income is below.
The example above assumes the individual's employer offers an occupational pension scheme providing tax relief through 'net pay' arrangements, which allow pension contributions to come out of pre-tax income.
Individuals may also be able to preserve their eligibility for child benefit by contributing to a personal pension or by sacrificing part of their salary and instead receiving higher employer pension contributions, which do not count towards taxable income.
"If there is a simple cut-off point based on the tax band of the parent with the highest earnings, people will look at what they can do to push their income below the threshold," said Mr Macro.
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