protecting pensionThe surprise Brexit vote has disrupted many plans and timetables. By this stage of the year, for example, we would normally have seen the Finance Bill receiving Royal Assent and becoming a Finance Act.

But this year is no ordinary year and that’s now unlikely to happen until shortly before the new Chancellor announces his first fiscal measures in the Autumn Statement.

The delay in passing the Bill has had some curious consequences. One relates to the reduction in the pension lifetime allowance to £1 million and the associated transitional protections, which took effect from 6 April 2016.

But the legislation underlying the changes is in that slow-moving Finance Bill!

Initially HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) announced an interim paper-based procedure for claiming the new protections, primarily for anyone starting to draw benefits before the Finance Act 2016 came into being. It promised to set up an on-line application process by the end of July, at which point the interim procedure would end. The timing was taken to be driven by the (then) likely Royal Assent date.

The online procedure is now in place – you can find out more at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pension-schemes-protect-your-lifetime-allowance . Unlike earlier versions of transitional protection, there is no deadline for applications. However, this does not mean you can ignore the provisions until you start to draw your benefits, because they revolve around values as at 6 April 2016 and subsequent actions.

If you think these new protections might be relevant to you, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options. Even if you have already started to draw benefits, the new protections could still be worth claiming.

The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances. Tax laws can change. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.