PENSIONS – PENSION REFORM 2014/15
Synopsis: Chancellor has announced that the 55% tax charge on lump sum pension death benefits on crystallised funds or death after age 75 will be abolished from April 2015.
Date posted: Monday, September 29, 2014
The Chancellor today (Monday 29 September) has announced that from April 2015 individuals will have the freedom to pass on their unused defined contribution pension to any nominated beneficiary when they die, rather than paying the 55% tax charge which currently applies to pensions passed on at death.
From next year, individuals with a drawdown arrangement or with uncrystallised pension funds will be able to nominate a beneficiary to pass their pension to if they die.
Death before age 75
If the individual dies before they reach the age of 75, they will be able to give their remaining defined contribution pension to anyone as a lump sum completely tax free, if it is in a drawdown account or uncrystallised.
The person receiving the pension will pay no tax on the money they withdraw from that pension, whether it is taken as a single lump sum, or accessed through drawdown.
Death after age 75
Anyone who dies with a drawdown arrangement or with uncrystallised pension funds at or over the age of 75 will also be able to nominate a beneficiary to pass their pension to.
The nominated beneficiary will be able to access the pension funds flexibly, at any age, and pay tax at their marginal rate of income tax.
There are no restrictions on how much of the pension fund the beneficiary can withdraw at any one time.
Beneficiaries will also have the option of receiving the pension as a lump sum payment, subject to a tax charge of 45% (if the deceased was over 75). The Government intends to also make lump-sum payments subject to tax at the marginal rate (not a flat rate charge of 45%). It will engage with pension industry in order to put this regime in place for 2016-17.
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