Pension Tax Relief Changes?

It would appear that further changes for pensions are likely. Pension tax relief has been “under review” which I always take to mean a report into the impact of a decision has been already made. At present whatever your rate of tax you receive as relief for any pension payment that you make.

As outlined within this blog before, in practice this costs HMRC a lot of money and is essentially a gift back to anyone that appears to be deemed as “rich” which as far as I can tell from Government and Opposition policy is anyone earning something between £50,000 and £1million as anyone with an income above £1m seems to largely avoid paying any tax her in the UK.

The expectation is that relief will be 33% so that a neat little explanation of tax relief can be spun by the media – 2 for 1… that is £2 from you £1 from the Government. Personally I fail to see how this is sensible as it’s an extra 13% for most people and a reduction of only 7%-12% for higher and additional rate taxpayers. It would be more sensible to have a standard rate of 25% which then at least correlates to the 25% tax free cash lump sum. 3 for 1 is just as simple to spin.

Constant Changes to Pensions

This comes on the back of other pension reforms

  • Pension freedom – abolition of any requirement to buy an annuity, retaining your pension as an investment portfolio.
  • Reduction in the Lifetime Allowance (£1m from 6th April 2016)
  • Online application for Lifetime Allowance Protection
  • Reduction in the Annual Allowance to £40,000
  • Annual Allowance tapering for those with income of £150,000+ from 6th April 2016 reducing the annual allowance to a maximum of £10,000.
  • Auto Enrolment or Workplace pensions
  • Changes to what constitutes a “year” input years are reverting to tax years.
  • Flat rate State Pension
  • Changes to the State Pension Age
  • Legislation to give HMRC the ability to take money from your bank account

Some of these changes are welcome, some are not, and many seem to be altered each tax year, making planning for the future somewhat awkward to say the very least.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email