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Tax Issues in Pensions

2 Part Course  |  An overview of pension tax planning

Advanced SWAPS Course

A one-day course presented in two half-day live webinars

Video Overview

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  • This course covers all the key aspects of the tax rules for pensions
  • Several numerical examples are included to help delegates understand the impact of the rules
  • The trainer is a Chartered Accountant who has over 30 years’ experience in tax training and also has taught courses leading to qualifications of bodies such as the CII.

  • To understand the types of pension schemes available
  • To understand the tax relief available for both companies and individuals
  • To appreciate when tax relief is restricted
  • To be aware of the options when taking benefits and to understand the associated tax consequences
  • To understand the implications arising when pension rights exceed the lifetime allowance
  • To be aware of the main pensions tax issues to consider when retiring abroad

Part One

Annual allowance

  • Measuring pension inputs in defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit (DB) schemes
  • Restriction on AA for high earners
  • AA charge for excess pension inputs
  • Electing for the scheme to pay the AA tax charge
    • Mandatory scheme pays
    • Voluntary scheme pays
    • FA 2021 changes
  • Carrying forward unused allowance 

Lifetime allowance

  • Effect of having claimed a version of ‘Fixed Protection’
  • Effect of having claimed ‘Individual Protection’
  • The LA charge when the LA is exceeded 

The options when accessing pension rights from DC schemes

  • Flexi-access drawdown fund (FADF), which allows a 25% tax-free pension commencement lump sum
  • Unsecured funds pension lump sum (UFPLS)
    • Understanding when only the latter will be available 

When the money purchase annual allowance is reduced to £4,000

  • Effect of exceeding this reduced limit 

Recycling rules

  • Anti-avoidance rules which prevent a tax advantage from significant recycling of tax-free lump sums into new tax-relieved contributions 

Taxation of pension funds at death

  • Where the deceased is aged 75 or more
  • Where the deceased is aged under 75 and has not accessed all their benefits 

The rules for accessing ‘small’ pension pots

Part Two

Auto-enrolment (overview)

  • Who has to be auto-enrolled?
  • Minimum contribution amounts
  • Compliance for new joiners


  • Key points
  • Comparison with SIPPs

Tax relief for employers

  • Deferring contributions in OMBs until corporation tax rate increases
  • When and how tax relief must be ‘spread’

Inheritance tax and pensions

  • The various situations where pension rights come within the deceased’s estate
  • Duties of personal representatives
  • Case study

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes

  • Definition
  • Who might want to use them
  • Transfers to QROPS

Retiring abroad

  • Which jurisdiction has the taxing rights?
  • Importance of tax treaty provisions
  • Other practical problems
  • The anti-avoidance affecting temporary non-residents

The trainer is a Chartered Accountant who qualified with PwC in 1988, spending his last 18 months there in the Corporate Tax department.

In 1989 he joined a leading financial training company as a tax tutor, teaching final level candidates for the ICAEW and ACCA examinations. Since 1992, he has been self-employed as a Professional Tutor and Training Consultant, specialising in tax update courses for accountants, lawyers and investment managers.

He has been teaching in the financial services industry since 1994. Although he concentrates on the professional development market these days, he is very experienced in teaching stock brokers, fund managers and financial advisors for their various regulatory examinations.

As a result, he is a tax specialist with (unusually) a very rounded knowledge of financial services products and markets. In 2012 this led to him undertaking Gapfill courses for the CISI.

He is a regular contributor to Taxation magazine and speaks at regional conferences of the ICAEW and CIOT.

The tax rules for pensions have changed several times in recent years, particularly concerning the amount of tax-relieved annual pension inputs permitted and the maximum pension rights that can be built up before retirement. The Taxation of Pensions Act 2014 greatly increased the options when accessing benefits from money purchase schemes. This new flexibility also produced a number of new complications and traps of which advisors should be aware.

This course will explain all the key issues associated with the taxation of pensions and, with the aid of numerical examples, demonstrate their practical impact. No previous tax knowledge will be assumed.

  • The course exceeded my expectations. I expected it to be highly technical and probably far beyond my knowledge but I felt it was digestible and helped understanding the basics of pensions from the perspective of UK taxes.
  • Was a good general refresher on pensions and the issues encountered on a daily basis.
Number of places:
Part 1
Number of places:
Part 2


Per participant per part
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