19th September 2023
Will you make the right decision around your pension pot?
WHY DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PENSIONS ARE EVEN MORE APPEALING FOR WEALTH TRANSFER
The announcement of the removal of the lifetime allowance (LTA) from the 2024/25 tax year in March’s Spring Budget 2023 has made defined contribution pensions even more appealing for wealth transfer. This benefits individuals over 55 who intent to leave their tax-free lump sum intact with their pension to maximise their benefits.
There may be further changes to pension allowance rules. However, removing the LTA charge allows for an unlimited sun tax-free for individuals who pass away before age 75. After the age of 75, the sum will be subject to taxation at the beneficiary’s marginal rate. It is important to note that although the charge has been removed, an LTA check still takes place to work out available tax-free cash and the taxation of certain lump sum payments.
WITHOUT INCURRING INHERITANCE TAX (IHT)
New research reveals that almost a fifth of those aged over 55 (18%) do not plan to access their tax-free pension cash, to enable them to pass on more wealth to loved ones without incurring inheritance tax charges . Men are more likely to do this than women, and 38% of workers also plan to leave their tax-free pension cash where it is.
Pensions usually don’t count towards a pension’s estate for IHT purposes and can be passed on completely tax-free if someone dies before the age of 75. With no LTA charge and an increased annual pension allowance, pensions have become attractive for those looking to mitigate IHT. However, nearly three in ten over-55s say they were unaware of this.
PENSION AS A TAX-FREE LUMP SUM
The research also found that almost half of all consumers (46%) believe that the amount that can be taken out of a pension as a tax-free lump sum should increase in line with inflation.
It is worth noting that since the LTA has been abolished, the amount that can be taken out of a pension as a tax-free lump sum has also been capped at 25% of the old LTA. This means that individuals are currently limited to withdrawing a maximum of 25% of the previous LTA as a tax-free lump sum from their pension, unless any protection is in place.
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 Opinium conducted research for Standard Life among 2,000 UK adults aged 18+ between 12-16 May 2023. Results have been weighed to be nationally representative.
A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until age 55 (57 from April 2028 unless plan has a protected pension age).
The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available.