HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced two forms of protection to help those affected by the reduction in the pension lifetime allowance from £1.5 million to £1.25 million on 6 April 2014.
The lifetime allowance is a limit on the value of benefits that can be built up in pensions. Any excess could be subject to a tax charge of up to 55%.
HMRC has introduced ‘lifetime allowance protection’ so investors who have built pension pots in line with previous rules don’t have to pay the tax charge. The ‘protection’ will effectively allow them to benefit from a lifetime allowance higher than £1.25 million when taking benefits from their pensions.
There will be two new forms of protection – Individual Protection 2014 where you can continue to contribute to pension and Fixed Protection 2014 where the protection will be lost if a contribution is made.
Individual Protection 2014 could benefit someone expecting further contributions (e.g. from an employer) or wanting the flexibility to top up their pension should it fall in value.
Fixed Protection 2014 might benefit someone near to retirement, not looking to add any more to their pension and wanting to protect their pension up to £1.5 million.
The application process is expected to open later this year for Fixed Protection 2014 and in summer 2014 for Individual Protection 2014.
As always, take advice from a competent Chartered Financial Planner.