Business tax – guidance

Pension administrators: annual and lifetime allowance statements

Scheme administrators must give members information about the amount of annual allowance and lifetime allowance used up.

Annual allowance statements

This is a statement of the amount of pension saving in the pension scheme for a tax year. If a member has more than one pension pot under the same scheme the statement must cover all of their pension pots.

You must give a pension savings statement to the member if their savings in a pension input period are more than the annual allowance. They need this information to work out if they have to pay the annual allowance charge.

Even if you don’t have to send a pension saving statement a member can still ask you to give them this information.

Detailed technical guidance on annual allowance statements can be found in the Registered Pension Schemes Manual.

Information to give in the annual allowance statement

The statement must contain:

  • the total amount of the member’s pension savings (‘pension input amounts’) made to the scheme in the ‘pension input period’ ending in the tax year
  • the amount of the annual allowance for that tax year
  • the total amount of the member’s pension savings made to the scheme for each of the pension input periods ending in the previous 3 tax years
  • the amount of the annual allowance for the previous 3 tax years

If a member has saved more than £50,000 into a scheme that has a period that starts before 14 October 2010 and ends after 5 April 2011 you must split the details of their savings between:

  • up to 13 October 2010
  • on and after 14 October 2010

Deadline for sending the annual allowance statement

You must automatically give a pension savings statement to the member if the amount of their pension savings (‘pension input amount’) in the scheme is more than the annual allowance. You must do this by 6 October following the end of the tax year.

For example, if your scheme pension input period runs from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014 the pension saving statement for the 2014 to 2015 tax year must be sent by 6 October 2015.

The deadline for statements for 2014 to 2015 is 6 October 2015.

If you don’t have to automatically send a statement you must give the member the information they’ve requested within three months. If they ask for the information before 6 July following the end of the tax year you have until 6 October to give them this information.

Sometimes you won’t be able to give the pension statement within these deadlines because you’re waiting for information from another person - such as from a scheme employer. In this case you have three months to send the statement after you get the information.

If you don’t provide the information on time or it’s incorrect you may be charged a penalty.

When you send a lifetime allowance statement

At various times you have to check whether a member’s pension savings have exceeded the lifetime allowance rate - this happens when what is known as a ‘benefit crystallisation event’ (BCE) occurs.

When you’ve carried out this check you must tell the member what percentage of the lifetime allowance they’ve used up by the BCEs occurring in the scheme.

If their pension started to be paid after 6 April 2006 and you’re paying a pension to the member you must provide this information at least once every tax year.

If you’re not paying a pension - for example because the scheme only paid a lump sum - you must provide this information within 3 months of the BCE.

You can stop providing an annual lifetime allowance statement in the following circumstances:

  • the member is 75 or older for the whole of the tax year - so the last statement you issue is for the tax year when they reach age 75
  • the member’s pension pot has been transferred to another pension scheme - the receiving scheme will issue annual lifetime allowance statements
  • you’ve given pension funds to an insurance company to pay the member’s pension - you tell the insurer the percentage of allowance used for those funds and they issue the statement to the member

Detailed technical guidance on lifetime allowance statements can be found in the Registered Pension Schemes Manual.

Information to give when a lifetime allowance charge is due

The member and scheme administrator are jointly liable to pay the lifetime allowance charge unless the event causing the charge is the member’s death. In most cases the scheme administrator must report the charge and pay the tax due using the Accounting for Tax (AFT) Return. You must give the following information to the member within 3 months:

  • how much of their pension savings are subject to the lifetime allowance charge
  • how you’ve calculated the tax and the amount due
  • if you’ve paid or intend to pay the tax

The member needs this information to complete their Self Assessment tax return telling HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) how much tax was payable and how much their scheme paid.

Information to give if you’re paying lump sum death benefits

If your scheme is making a payment because the member has died the scheme doesn’t pay the lifetime allowance charge.

If your scheme has paid a lump sum death benefit that uses up the member’s lifetime allowance you must tell the member’s personal representative. You must give them the following information within 3 months:

  • the percentage of the lifetime allowance used up by the lump sum payment
  • the date of payment

The member’s personal representative may ask for information on any other benefits the scheme has paid that used up the member’s lifetime allowance. You must give them this information within 2 months of their request.

Further guidance for your scheme members

Your members can find more information about their annual and lifetime allowances from our guide ‘Tax on your private pension’. HMRC also host an annual allowance checking tool, annual allowance calculator and lifetime allowance checking tool that members of pension schemes can use.