TaxMay 1 2018

High earners told to ignore pension tax fears

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High earners told to ignore pension tax fears

“For those self employed, with a variable bonus or irregular pension contributions, including final salary schemes, the figures are unworkable until after the tax year end, sometimes months after. 

“The system is far too complex and I wonder if catching people out is part of the point.”

Annual allowance case study

Prudential compared a member of a defined benefit (DB) 1/60 scheme, with employee contributions of 6 per cent where the scheme pays the annual allowance charge, and a member of a defined contribution (DC) scheme, where the employer pays 6 per cent of the person’s salary as standard, and employee contributions are matched 1 for 1 up to 6 per cent. The scheme pays the annual allowance charge.

In this case study the client is a 45 per cent taxpayer with a salary of £210,000 (as such the annual allowance has been tapered to £10,000) and has no carry forward available.

The study shows the client of the DB scheme pays £6,930 net to generate an additional pension of £2,465 per annum and the member of the DC scheme generates an additional fund of £25,290 at the same net cost.

The test would be: would a client pay £x to get £y, Prudential said.


Defined Benefit

Defined Contribution

Pension accrued

£3,500 p.a.


AA used



AA excess



AA charge



Benefit reduction

£1,035 p.a.


Post AA charge benefit

£2,465 p.a.


Net cost