Tax-free cash protection in conjunction with primary protection

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1 Pensions Technical Factsheet April 2014 For financial advisers only Tax-free cash in conjunction with primary Here we give information about how tax-free cash works in conjunction with primary. This communication is for financial advisers only. It mustn t be distributed to, or relied on by, customers. This factsheet is based on our understanding of current legislation, which may change. Our factsheet Primary explains how primary works for pension benefits. You ll find it in the Transitional Protection section here. Tax-free cash with primary Registering for tax-free cash How was the tax-free cash entitlement on 5 April 2006 calculated? How much tax-free cash could be registered? Could registering for tax-free cash have made a difference? How has the reduction in lifetime allowance affected the registered tax-free cash calculation? Taking registered tax-free cash with primary

2 Tax-free cash with primary Primary doesn t in itself give the member a higher entitlement to tax-free cash the member had to register for tax-free cash (see below). If they didn t register for tax-free cash or don t have ordinary tax-free cash (also known as scheme-specific tax-free cash ), their maximum tax-free cash entitlement under a registered pension scheme is calculated from 6 April 2014 as the lower of: n 25% of the capital value of the pension benefits, and n 25% of their available standard lifetime allowance (SLA) based on the higher of 1.5 million and the current SLA (if higher than 1.5 million). This applies even when the member has a higher personal lifetime allowance (PLA). If, however, a member of an occupational pension scheme (including a section 32 contract) has ordinary tax-free cash (so within one scheme to take tax-free cash of more than 25%), they would be able to take that higher amount of tax-free cash (within the normal rules for ordinary tax-free cash ). You ll find more information about these rules in our Ordinary tax-free cash factsheet, which you ll find in the Transitional Protection section here. Registering for tax-free cash Registering for tax-free cash was only available to members who were applying for primary and/or enhanced for their pension benefits and whose tax-free cash entitlement as at 5 April 2006 was more than 375,000. Tax-free cash was registered at the same time, using the same form, as the application for primary and/or enhanced. This had to be done on or before 5 April Our Primary factsheet gives more details about this you can access the factsheet in the Transitional Protection section on our Technical Zone. If a member registered for tax-free cash, this superseded any ordinary tax-free cash the member may have had. How was the tax-free cash entitlement on 5 April 2006 calculated? The value of a member s tax-free cash entitlement on 5 April 2006 depended on: n the type of pension scheme the pension benefits were provided under, and n whether or not the pension benefits were in payment on 5 April 2006 (so whether it was vested or unvested ) It is important to note that: n the tax-free cash entitlement value included a notional amount for benefits that had already come into payment by 5 April 2006, as this could have made a significant difference to the value for registration purposes, and n it is not possible to have a tax-free cash amount that is greater than the value of the member s benefits under the scheme. 02

3 03 The table below sets out the 5 April 2006 tax-free cash value attaching to different benefits. Scheme type Vested or unvested Tax-free cash value for Occupational pension scheme Unvested The amount that would have been provided under the scheme rules if the benefits had come into payment on 5 April 2006, subject to HMRC s maximum at that time Personal pension Unvested 25% of the non-protected rights fund, subject to any restriction that had been certified Notes Where the member s maximum tax-free cash is calculated using the 2.25 x initial pension formula: n under a defined benefit scheme the pension must be calculated using a conversion rate of 20:1, n under a money purchase scheme, the pension can be calculated either by using a conversion factor of 20:1 or by obtaining an annuity rate from the GAD tables. Tax-free cash may be restricted to less than 25% if, for example, the member had transferred in funds from an occupational pension scheme that had a NIL tax-free cash entitlement or an entitlement that was less than 25%. Protected rights funds had no tax-free cash entitlement on 5 April Retirement annuity contract Unvested 25% of the fund Before 6 April 2006, retirement annuity contracts could pay a maximum tax-free cash amount of 3 x the initial annual pension. Even if this would have produced tax-free cash of more than 25%, only 25% can be used as a value for purposes. Annuity in payment on 5 April 2006 Vested 25% of 25 x the annual annuity in payment on 5 April 2006 It doesn t matter how much tax-free cash was actually paid (even if this was nil), the notional 25% amount is always used for calculating the total value for registration purposes. Drawdown pension in payment on 5 April 2006 Vested 25% of 25 x the maximum annual income that could have been paid as at 5 April 2006 The maximum annual income available will be determined in line with the income review in force as at 5 April It doesn t matter how much tax-free cash was actually paid (even if this was nil), the notional 25% amount is always used for calculating the total value for registration purposes. If the total amount of tax-free cash entitlement on 5 April 2006 was more than 375,000, the member could have registered for tax-free cash at the same time as registering for primary.

4 How much tax-free cash could be registered? Only tax-free cash entitlements from funds that had not come into payment by 5 April 2006 (the unvested tax-free cash rights) were actually registered. Martin had three pension plans in place on 5 April 2006: Plan Type 05/04/06 value 05/04/06 tax-free cash value Could registering for tax-free cash have made a difference? In a word, yes. Even if a member s unvested tax-free cash was less than 375,000, if the total of their vested and unvested tax-free cash on 5 April 2006 was more than 375,000, they would lose out on their full tax-free cash entitlement unless they had registered it. 04 Plan A: Plan B: Unvested occupational Unvested retirement annuity 1 million 200, , ,000 Elaine registered for primary. On 5 April 2006 she had two pension plans: Plan Type 05/04/06 value 05/04/06 tax-free cash Plan A: Unvested PP 1 million 250,000 Plan C: Annuity in payment 1 million 250,000 Plan B: Vested annuity 2 million 500,000 Total 2,500, ,000 As his total tax-free cash entitlement was more than 375,000, Martin registered for tax-free cash with his application for primary. The amount he registered was 325,000, as this is the unvested tax-free cash entitlement on 5 April 2006 ( 200, ,000). No tax-free cash registration On 1 August 2014, Elaine decides to take her PP benefits. As she has no tax-free cash, her tax-free cash entitlement is calculated using a SLA of 1.5 million. The standard tax-free cash calculation is 25% of the SLA, less any tax-free cash allowance already taken. In this example, 25% of the SLA would be 1.5 million x 25%, giving 375,000, and Elaine is deemed to have already taken 500,000 tax-free cash in connection with her annuity. So Elaine s remaining tax-free cash allowance is calculated as: 375, ,000 = NIL Elaine cannot take any tax-free cash from her PP plan.

5 With tax-free cash registration On 1 August 2014, Elaine decides to take her PP benefits. As she has tax-free cash, her tax-free cash entitlement is calculated as: the amount on her certificate x 1.8/1.5 = 250,000 increased by 20% = 300,000 So when Elaine takes her PP benefits, up to 300,000 can be taken as tax-free cash. There s no restriction on the amount of tax-free cash that the member can take from any one scheme. If they wanted to, they could take all the tax-free cash from one scheme, or they could split the amount in proportions they choose over all of their schemes. (There are some Department for Work and Pensions restrictions on the amount of tax-free cash that can be taken from contracted-out funds, and these must be adhered to, even if the member has primary.) How has the reduction in lifetime allowance affected the registered tax-free cash calculation? Although the standard SLA reduced from 1.8 million to 1.5 million from 6 April 2012, registered tax-free cash in conjunction with primary is still calculated in connection with a 1.8 million SLA. This means if an individual decided to take all their benefits in May 2012, the tax-free cash entitlement would be indexed in line with 1.8 million: Tax-free cash entitlement on the primary certificate = 400,000 If the tax-free cash is taken in May 2012, the maximum would be: 400,000 x 1.8/ 1.5 = 480,000 even though the SLA is 1.5 million. 05 The standard SLA will reduce again on 6 April 2014, to 1.25 million, but the registered tax-free cash calculation will continue to use 1.8 million as above. If, in the future, the SLA increases to more than 1.8 million, registered tax-free cash in conjunction with primary will again be calculated in line with the increase in the actual SLA since 6 April It s not possible to have fixed 2012, fixed 2014 or individual 2014 alongside primary, so the SLA used in the registered tax-free cash calculation will be 1.8 million, until such times as the actual SLA increases above this level.

6 Taking registered tax-free cash with primary The primary certificate will show a figure for the amount of tax-free cash that the individual can take from all registered pension schemes. This amount is indexed in line with 1.8 million (until such a time as the actual lifetime allowance increases above 1.8 million). Lesley has primary, and her certificate shows a tax-free cash entitlement of 400,000. She decides to take all of her tax-free cash in May 2014, so her tax-free cash entitlement is: 400,000 x 1.8/1.5 = 480,000. Where only part of the tax-free cash entitlement is taken, this amount is also indexed in line with 1.8 million. Using the example above, if Lesley had already taken 200,000 of her tax-free cash entitlement in May 2008 (when the SLA was 1.65 million) and then decides to take the balance in May 2014, her available tax-free cash entitlement would be: Lesley s initial entitlement of 400,000 increased in line with 1.8 million: 400,000 x 1.8/1.5 = 480,000 less The 200,000 she took in May 2008 increased in line with 1.8 million: 200,000 x 1.8/1.65 = 218,181 => 480, ,181 = So in May 2014, Lesley can take tax-free cash up to 261, This factsheet was produced by Pensions Technical Services. We re proud to be the Lead Partner of British Aegon is a brand name of Scottish Equitable plc. Scottish Equitable plc, registered office: Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh EH12 9SE. Registered in Scotland (No ). Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Register number An Aegon company Aegon UK plc C TS /14

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