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Light Relief


Can anyone remember the football manager that had the nickname the tinker-man? He may well have surfaced at HM Treasury as the goalposts have been shifted again on pension contributions.

The restrictions on tax relief on pension contributions for high earners were unwelcome in many ways; they are overly complicated and effectively blocked pension transfers for anyone wanting to rely on the protection in place for existing regular contributions, for no good reason.

Thankfully a change in legislation has just rectified this, so that contributions up to the level of existing regular amounts can continue under a new replacement pension arrangement. And as usual here come the caveats..... the new arrangement has to start within 3 months of stopping the old one, which is fair enough. Less easy to understand is that this can only be done once, and the new arrangement must be the same type as the old one? So transferring from one personal pension to another is OK, but moving from a personal pension to an occupational scheme is not.

This change is welcome and frees up transfers again, particularly anyone wanting to move to a SIPP, but it's a bit late in the current tax year to do anything. Why the strings attached though? Why not allow existing contributions to be protected in any transfer? If you can think of a good reason, let me know.

It's progress, but yet more complication. If only they'd just reduced the annual allowance instead.......

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