Pension administrators: check your member's protection status
What you need to do if your members protect their pension from the lifetime allowance reduction.
Your pension members may be able to apply for protection from the reduction in the lifetime allowance.
- your member’s total benefits are more than the lifetime allowance
- they have enhanced protection, fixed protection, fixed protection 2014 or individual protection 2014
If you need to report reference numbers for members using fixed protection 2016 and individual protection 2016, you should contact HMRC.
You’ll also need to make sure you give the right information to your members.
Protection before 2016 reduction
Before 2016 your members could hold one of the following protections:
- Enhanced protection
- Primary protection
- Fixed protection
- Individual protection 2014
- Fixed protection 2014
Your members should give you the reference number for their protection and you’ll need to use this when testing their benefits.
Your members can find their reference number on their protection certificate or confirmation letter. Additionally, most members will be able to view it online using the protect your lifetime allowance service.
You may decide to ask your member for a copy of their protection certificate so you can:
- confirm the value of their protected pension rights
- tell the member what percentage of the lifetime allowance they’ve used up
Protection from 2016 reduction
6 April to 31 July 2016
If your members applied to protect their pensions during this time they may have a temporary reference number. The temporary reference number will be in the format:
- AJ followed by 4 digits, for fixed protection (for example AJ1234)
- 4 digits followed by AJ, for individual protection (for example 1234AJ)
If a member gives you a temporary reference number you should ask them to apply for a permanent reference number online.
After 31 July 2016
Your members will need to apply for a permanent protection reference number online. They’ll need to do this even if they have a temporary reference number.
The permanent reference number is in the format:
- FP16 followed by 10 digits and 1 letter, for fixed protection 2016 (for example FP161234567890A)
- IP16 followed by 10 digits and 1 letter, for individual protection 2016 (for example IP161234567890B)
If your member gives you a temporary reference number you should tell them that:
- their reference number is temporary and no longer valid
- they’ll need to apply online for a permanent reference number
Published: 6 April 2016
Updated: 28 July 2016
- This guidance has been updated to reflect the new online service for members to protect their lifetime allowance from the 2014 and 2016 reduction.
- First published.