Contribution Guideline

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1 Contribution Guideline This guideline explains the rules surrounding pension contributions to a SSAS, the maximum amounts payable and the workings of tax relief. Please note that we do not give financial advice and this guideline is for information purposes only. Contents Section Page 1. Introduction 2 2. At a glance 2 3. Tax Relief 2 4. Annual Allowance 3 5. Maximum Pension Contributions personal, third party and employer 3 6. Carry Forward 4 7. Pension input periods 5 8. Residency 6 9. Annual Allowance tax charge Additional Items (concurrency, frequency, protection, recycling of PCLS) In-Specie contributions 7 1

2 1. Introduction Contributions to UK Registered Pension Schemes attract tax relief which makes pension saving one of the most tax efficient ways of accumulating funds for your retirement. The basic rules are the same for all money purchase pension schemes although the method of obtaining tax relief depends on who pays the contribution: your employer, you or someone else. Our pension arrangements are able to receive contributions from members, the establishing employers and third parties. Contributions are initially deposited into the scheme bank account from which the fund may be invested into any HMRC permitted asset. No tax relief is granted for personal contributions paid after you reach age 75. Please note that as we do not give financial advice on your retirement saving strategy we strongly recommend that you obtain independent financial advice. If you do not already have an Adviser, information can be obtained from or telephone At a glance Pesonal contributions are restricted to 100% of earnings if lower than the Annual Allowance The Annual Allowance is assessed against Pension Input Periods (normally tax years to the 5th April) You can carry-forward unused Annual Allowance from the previous three tax years The Annual Allowance is the maximum pension contributions that can be paid for you each year and benefit from tax relief Contribution Rules Contributions can be paid as investments rather than cash (this is known as in-specie) 3. Tax Relief The method of obtaining tax relief on a pension contribution depends on who pays it. Company Contribution The company pays the contribution as an allowable expense of the business. The amount paid is deducted from operating profit when calculating Corporation Tax Personal Contribution Contributions are paid from taxed income (after income tax and NI has been paid). The amount paid qualifies for income tax relief at your marginal rate. All tax relief for SSAS contributions is claimed via self-assessment. Third Party Contribution Tax relief is not granted to the payer but to the person benefitting from the contribution. They qualify for tax relief at their marginal rate. All tax relief is claimed via their self-assessment. 2

3 4. The Annual Allowance The Annual Allowance is the maximum amount of pension contributions which will benefit from tax relief within a nominated year. This limit applies to all member, employer and third party contributions combined. From 6 th April 2015, the Annual Allowance is set at 40,000. For 2013/14 it was 40,000 and for previous years it was 50,000. There is a formula for calculating the Annual Allowance where you are a member of a Final Salary pension scheme. This is not covered here as we do not provide services to Final Salary pension schemes. A calculation of whether the Annual Allowance has been reached can be shown in an example: You pay 1,000 per month to a personal pension Employer pays 7% of salary ( 50,000) each year to a company scheme Your father pays a third party contribution of 10,000 to your personal pension Total paid for you: 25,500. Annual Allowance not exceeded Where you have commenced retirement benefits under the post 5 th April 2015 Pension Freedoms regime, your Annual Allowance is reduced significantly for future contributions. If you have received a pension payment under Flexi-Access Drawdown, Uncrystallised Fund Pension Lump Sum or Flexible Annuity, your Annual Allowance is reduced to 10,000 with no Carry-Forward (see section 6). 5. Maximum Pension Contributions Maximum Pension Contributions Personal Personal contributions are those paid by a sole trader, partner or an individual employee out of taxable income. In order to receive full tax relief, individual pension contributions are limited to 100% of earnings per pension input period (usually the tax year). Earnings, for the purpose of making pension contributions, consist of salary, bonuses and taxable P11D benefits. An individual can still pay up to 3,600 p.a. (gross) even where they have no earnings. Example Joan earns 30,000 per annum. Her maximum tax relievable pension contribution is 30,000 gross. If she pays more than this she will not benefit from tax relief on the excess even though the Annual Allowance is 40,000. Unlike a personal pension, personal contributions made to a SSAS are paid gross and all tax relief must be claimed back through the individual s self-assessment tax return after the tax year end. We accept all contributions in good faith and do not verify a member s earnings for this purpose. It is therefore the individual s responsibility to ensure that limits are not exceeded and where an overpayment is made, we would expect 3

4 that a reduced level of tax relief will be reclaimed through self-assessment. We reserve the right to ask for evidence of the source of wealth from which personal contributions are paid (e.g. P60, bank statement, copy tax return) Maximum Pension Contributions Third Party Third party pension contributions are treated as individual pension contributions in terms of the maximum tax relievable contributions which can be made and all tax relief is reclaimed by the recipient of the contribution in the same way as personal contributions and not the contributing party. Maximum Pension Contributions Employer An employer can make a pension contribution of any amount up to the Annual Allowance each year. If the employer s contribution exceeds the Annual Allowance, there will be a tax charge on the member for the excess and this will be charged at the member s marginal rate (see below). Employer contributions are made gross and attract Corporation Tax Relief in the accounting period when the contribution is paid. In order to receive Corporation Tax relief, the contribution must be deemed by the company s Inspector of Taxes to be made wholly and exclusively for the purpose of the trade of the business. This means that the contribution must be made as part of the company s normal expense of employing staff and to serve the purpose of the company s trade. Where a non-business purpose is identified, tax relief will not be granted. The criteria provided by HMRC in the Business Income Manual (Section BIM46000 onwards) for determining whether a contribution will pass the wholly and exclusive test is as follows: Was the contribution made for the purpose of the company s trade? What were the company s intentions when making the contribution? Serving the purpose of trade does not mean to benefit the company s tax position. The provision of a private benefit for the company s directors should only be incidental to the real reason for paying the contribution, which is to serve the purpose of the trade of the company. If there is any doubt whether Corporation Tax relief will be granted on a company contribution, the company must consult its accountant. We will accept all contributions in good faith and are not involved in the process of obtaining tax relief. 6. Carry- forward Where a member has been contributing less than 40,000 per annum for the last three tax years ( 50,000 for 2012/13 and 2013/14), they are now able to carry forward any unused allowance providing they were a member of a registered pension scheme in each of the previous three years (although there was no requirement to have been making pension contributions). Please remember, Carry-Forward is not possible where pension freedoms have been accessed. 4

5 Example James has been a member of a registered pension scheme for a number of years. He has a Pension Input Amount of 10,000 for 2012/13, 60,000 for 2013/14 and 30,000 for 2014/15. Using carry forward together with his Annual Allowance entitlement for 2015/16, James is able to make a contribution of 110,000 in the 2015/16 tax year. Tax Year Pension Input Amount Annual Allowance Unused Allowance 2012/13 10,000 50,000 40,000 (reduced to 30,000) 2013/14 60,000 50,000 0 (Carry-Forward 10,000 from 2012/13) 2014/15 30,000 40,000 10, / ,000 80,000 However, if James manipulates his Pension Input Period by changing it to another date during the tax year (e.g. 1 st October), he could increase the maximum contribution to 120,000 over a matter of days (see Section 7)! 7. Pension input periods When assessing contributions against the Annual Allowance, most pension input periods will run in accordance with the tax year. However, the scheme member is able to select an alternative date for their pension input period to end. The tax year in which the pension input period ends is the year for which contributions, made during that period, will be tested against the Annual Allowance. This allows for manipulation where a scheme member wishes to make a contribution greater than the Annual Allowance in one year although it is important to note that an amendment to a pension input period may only happen once. To nominate a new pension input period, we will ask for a letter of instruction from the scheme member. 1 st October 2015 Possible contribution of 120,000 during the 2015/16 Tax Year 80,000 40,000 6 th April th April th April /15 Tax Year 2015/16 Tax Year 2016/17 Tax Year 5

6 8. Residency An individual must be UK resident to become a member of a UK pension scheme and receive tax relief on contributions. If they leave the UK and becomes non-resident, they are able to continue making pension contributions for a further five tax years up to a maximum of 3,600 per annum. For employer contributions, where a pension scheme member leaves the UK as part of their employment, it may be possible for the employer to continue making pension contributions and receive full Corporation Tax Relief. In this scenario, we would recommend the company consults its accountant for further guidance. 9. Annual Allowance Tax Charges Where the Annual Allowance is exceeded for tax relieved pension contributions, you must declare this on your selfassessment tax return and pay an Annual Allowance charge which is equal to your marginal rate of income tax. This means the tax charge may not match the tax relief claimed, it depends on your taxable income for that tax year. Example In 2014/15 John s employer pays a pension contribution for him of 60,000 (with no carry-forward allowance). The company receives corporation tax relief on this amount. John therefore has excess pension savings of 20,000 for that tax year. His taxable income for the year is 142,000. To calculate the Annual Allowance tax charge, the excess is added to his taxable income, giving a figure of 162, ,000 of John s excess pension saving is above the 150,000 higher rate limit. 8,000 of his pension saving is above the basic rate limit but below the higher rate limit. John s Annual Allowance tax charge is calculated as: 45% = 5,400 40% = 3,200 TOTAL 8,600 It is possible to contribute in excess of the Annual Allowance and not claim tax relief. In this case, no Annual Allowance charge is payable. 10. Additional Items Concurrency Frequency Protection Recycling of PCLS An individual may be a member of more than one pension arrangement and receive contributions into numerous pension schemes at the same time subject to the Annual Allowance. There is no commitment to make regular contributions into our pension schemes and no penalties should contributions cease. Where a member has registered for Enhanced or Fixed Protection, any contributions made for them, whether personally, by the company or by a third party, will result in them losing their entitlement to this protection. We accept no liability where the payment of a contribution results in the loss of a member s Enhanced or Fixed Protection. Recycling of tax free lump sums received on commencing receipt of retirement benefits is not permitted and may trigger a tax charge on the original pension commencement lump sum. 6

7 11. In-Specie Contributions An in-specie contribution is the payment of a pension contribution by transferring the ownership of a permitted asset to the pension scheme rather than making a cash deposit into the scheme bank account. Tax relief is granted on in-specie contributions in the same way as a monetary contribution would receive tax relief. Tax may apply on making an inspecie contribution: Stamp Duty because there is a transfer of value. Where a stock transfer form is required, Stamp Duty will be calculated on the value of the asset at the date the transfer form is dated. We date undated forms as they arrive with us and will not take account of market fluctuations. Capital Gains Tax may be payable by the party making the contribution. The process to make an in-specie contribution is as follows: Decide the value of the contribution to be paid. We must have notification of this before we can accept it. Complete our In-Specie Contribution Notification and Declaration. This must be completed and sent to us in order for us to create a legally binding debt which the pension scheme must then collect. 3. Provide a copy of an independent professional valuation of the asset for us to verify the value of the contribution being made. 4. The asset must be re-registered into the name of the pension scheme Trustees. 5. Where the asset is property or unquoted shares, please also follow our guidance notes for this category of investment as our usual processes will apply. 6. Provide a copy of the dated property transfer, share certificate or contract note to verify that the re-registration is complete. This represents the date that the contribution was made. 7. Tax relief cannot be claimed until this process is complete. An in-specie contribution can therefore result in an under or overpayment when the asset transferred is ultimately valued. a. Underpayments must be topped up by a cash deposit into the scheme bank account. b. Overpayments may be handled in one of three ways: The excess could be transferred back to the contributing party The pension scheme could purchase the additional assets by making a cash payment out of the scheme The purchase could be treated as an additional contribution provided this is clearly documented 7

8 There are three main ways of transferring assets to complete an in-specie payment. The method used depends on the asset being transferred: 1. Conveyance e.g. property 2. Re-registration e.g. Shares, funds, fund platforms, discretionary managed portfolios, stockbroker portfolios 3. Assignment e.g. Insurance company policies and bonds, loans To Proceed - Making an in-specie contribution Items Required In-Specie Contribution Notification and Declaration Independent valuation of the asset Note: We will require additional items if you wish to make an in-specie contribution of property or unquoted shares. These guidelines are based on our understanding of current law and HM Revenue & Customs practice, which are subject to change. Please correspond with us Whitehall Group (UK) Ltd Warth Business Centre Warth Road Bury BL9 9TB Whitehall is the trading name of: Whitehall Group (UK) Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (Registered number ), Whitehall Trustees Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (Registered number ) and Whitehall Corporate Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (Registered number ). All three companies have their registered office at 41 Greek Street, Stockport, Cheshire, SK3 8AX. June 2015 item code

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