Personal tax thresholds frozen until 2026

The Budget announced that the pension Lifetime Allowance, along with the ISA allowance, income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) rates will be frozen until 2026.

Although not increasing tax rates was a decision welcomed by many, between now and 2026 many people will find themselves paying more tax as their incomes and pension funds rise.

What is Lifetime Allowance?

Lifetime Allowance (LTA) is a limit on the amount of pension benefit that can be drawn from a pension without having to pay an extra tax charge.

The current LTA is £1,073,100, and it is due to stay at this rate until 2026. The LTA charge is 25% of the excess over the limit on any income taken and 55% on the excess if it is taken as a lump sum.

Will I be affected?

The LTA tax charge only affects those with the largest pension pots. The table below is an illustration of when someone could breach their LTA.

Pension value today 3% Annual return 5% Annual return 8% Annual return
£500,000 25 years & 10 months 15 years & 7 months 9 years & 10 months
£750,000 12 years & 1 month 7 years & 3 month 4 years & 8 months
£1,000,000 2 years & 4 months 1 year & 5 months 11 months

 

 

 

 

These are based on returns after charges and not guaranteed.

Looking at the table above, you may think about stopping pension contributions. However, this may not be wise especially if you are a higher or additional rate taxpayer and/or if you have a large Inheritance Tax liability.

Dos and don’ts

  • Ask your employer for alternative remuneration option.
  • Don’t stop your employer making pension contributions if your employer is not willing to remunerate you in other ways.
  • If there have not been any pension contributions made since 6 April 2016, apply for fixed protection for an enhanced LTA of £1,250,000.
  • Consider holding lower risk investments in your pension and higher risk investments in your ISA or general investment account.
  • Use your ISA allowance.

Get in touch

Although a prolonged period of no increases means more LTA tax charges, it’s vital to remember that there could be many good reasons why those affected should continue to save into their pensions.

If you need any assistance with LTA, please get in touch with Görkem Gökyiğit,  (gorkemgokyigit@lfwm.co.uk). 

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