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Simplification? Whom are you kidding?

Colin Lawson on the ever-changing tax and pension rules

29 January 2013

The pensions industry was revolutionised in 2006 and all the previous complex rules were swept away and replaced by one simple system. This was universally known as ‘pensions simplification’, which came into force with much fanfare on what was termed ‘A-day’ on 6 April 2006.

Now, granted, there were still a few complex areas. But the theory was simple. I could pay in 100 per cent of my earnings, up to £215,000 per annum, as long as my overall pension pot didn’t exceed £1.5m. How simple is that?

If only it had stayed that way. Since then, the maximum pot (known as the lifetime allowance) increased to £1.8m, then decreased to £1.5m, then went down again to £1.25m. If I exceed this lifetime allowance, I ...

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