Pension Allowance Breaches Surge

HMRC data has revealed a significant increase in the total value of pension contributions exceeding the annual allowance, with more and more people falling foul of the complex rules and regulations.

The latest personal pension statistics, which cover 2017/18, show a staggering 26,550 people reported contributions exceeding the £40,000 annual allowance in their self-assessment tax return, with combined total contributions amounting to £812m, an average of £30,584 per person. Furthermore, over the past decade, the number of individuals reporting such a breach has risen dramatically, with just 230 people facing similar tax charges in 2007/08 when the annual allowance was £225,000.

Pension complexity

The sharp rise in breaches can largely be blamed on a big reduction in the annual allowance in 2011 and the introduction of the tapered annual allowance in 2016, which added even greater complexity to the pension landscape. Indeed, unless government heeds industry advice and significantly simplifies allowance rules, the next few years are likely to see even more people caught out by the overly complex regime.

Here to help

As many people are discovering, a breach of allowances can be extremely costly. It’s therefore imperative to seek professional advice if you are unsure how pension allowances impact on you. And remember, we are always here to help.

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.

It is important to take professional advice before making any decision relating to your personal finances. Information within this newsletter is based on our current understanding of taxation and can be subject to change in future. It does not provide individual tailored investment advice and is for guidance only. Some rules may vary in different parts of the UK; please ask for details. We cannot assume legal liability for any errors or omissions it might contain. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are those currently applying or proposed and are subject to change; their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated. If you withdraw from an investment in the early years, you may not get back the full amount you invested. Changes in the rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value or price of an investment in sterling terms if it is denominated in a foreign currency. Taxation depends on individual circumstances as well as tax law and HMRC practice which can change.

The information contained within this newsletter is for information only purposes and does not constitute financial advice. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide technical and general guidance and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation or advice.