Latest HMRC pension schemes newsletter

HMRC has published pension scheme newsletter number 81, the latest update on pensions matters.


Amongst other items, this announces the launch of the new beta annual allowance calculator which enables pension scheme members to check:


  • how much annual allowance they have used
  • if they have an annual allowance charge to pay
  • if they have any unused pension annual allowances to carry forward.


This is a very useful tool for calculating the brought-forward allowance, and also the level of allowance available in 2016/17 where it is restricted because of net income over £150,000. It also does the calculation for 2015/16, when there were two pension input periods for everybody, allowing double the annual allowance but with no carry-forward of unused allowance from the first pension input period of the year. The double input was as a result of aligning all pension input periods to the tax year.


This is a beta version which means that HMRC will be reviewing, monitoring and updating the calculator – so they would welcome feedback on it.


There is also a report on the number of applications that have been received via the online facility for individual protections 2014 (617) and 2016 (4,867) and fixed protection 2016 (11,969). See our news item Launch of HMRC's lifetime allowance online service about protecting a higher lifetime allowance. Since 1 August, applications for fixed and individual protection have to be made online.


Other topics covered in the newsletter are:


  • Tax treatment of serious ill health lump sums
  • Reportable events
  • Relief at source annual returns of individual information for 2015 to 2016
  • Secondary annuities
  • Lifetime allowance issues
  • Pension flexibility and pension scams