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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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DT Applications and claims - Types of income: Pensions and Annuities

Employment (Non-Government) pensions

Exemption from UK tax is available under the terms of many Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) for pensions that are paid by an employer to former employees who have retired.

You have to consider allowing relief under the general ‘Pensions’ article if the pension is not covered by the ‘Governmental Functions’ article see INTM343020. The general ‘Pensions’ article does not usually give a definition of “pension”.

Sometimes the Article specifies that relief is only available for pensions that are paid “in consideration of past employment”. This excludes pensions such as NIRPs see INTM343190 from this article. It is immaterial whether the pension is paid under a contributory or non-contributory scheme or whether it is paid as of right or by grace and favour. Usually this article provides that the pension is taxable in the country where the pensioner lives. Relief from UK income tax is therefore available.

You should check that relief from UK tax is available under the terms of each double taxation treaty by referring to the relevant country guidance.

Government and Non-Government service

It is possible for a pension to be paid partly in recognition of service to both government and non-government employers (split service)

Please refer to Technical Advice Group all cases where

  • a government pension is paid by the central government or a local authority and the pensioner claims that relief from UK income tax is due because some of the pension is for non-government service

or

  • a pension paid by a non-government body is partly for service/employment of a government type see INTM343040.