Pension and funding corporations representing tens of millions of British retirement savers have known as on the federal government to assessment a tax rule which they are saying is penalising over-55s returning to work.
In a letter to the Treasury forward of this month’s Funds, greater than a dozen corporations, together with main pension groups and commerce associations, have urged ministers to alter the rule that governs how a lot may be saved right into a pension earlier than tax expenses apply.
The intervention comes as Mel Stride, the work and pensions secretary, is taking a look at methods to fight an increase in financial inactivity through the pandemic that’s clouding the UK’s long-term progress prospects. One of many major drivers is older staff in comparatively well-paid jobs taking early retirement.
Most individuals can contribute as much as £40,000 into their pensions every year earlier than tax penalties kick in. Nonetheless, this commonplace allowance may be slashed to £4,000 for some over-55s who’ve dipped into their pensions.
The letter, signed by corporations together with Aegon, Canada Life and Constancy, stated the £4,000 threshold, generally known as the cash buy annual allowance (MPAA) is a “potential problem” for a whole lot of 1000’s of over-55s seeking to return to work.
“Anybody who has accessed their pension flexibly and who now needs to return to work and construct up additional retirement financial savings, is capped at contributing not more than £4,000 a yr or will face a tax cost,” stated the letter.
“This implies a median earner of their 50s can be caught in the event that they paid 12 per cent of wage into their pension. They face an older employee penalty that forestalls them from saving for retirement and should discourage them from searching for out employment.”
Final month, the Decision Basis think-tank urged the federal government ought to crack down on pension freedoms and tax breaks that encourage rich individuals to retire early.
Political stress for pension reform can be rising. Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow work and pensions secretary, this week pointed to a 50 per cent improve over the previous two years within the variety of over-55s cashing of their pensions early, including that some individuals have been doing this “merely to assist make ends meet as the price of residing climbs”.
Official knowledge additionally factors to a latest rise within the variety of older individuals returning to the workforce, which Xiaowei Xu, on the Institute for Fiscal Research, described as a probable “response to individuals turning into poorer”.
The letter urges the Treasury to revive the MPAA to £10,000, the unique degree it was set at when the allowance was launched in 2017. It was designed to stop individuals recycling pension money that they had taken into their present pension for tax reduction.
Canada Life, one of many signatories to the letter, estimates between 500,000 and 1mn individuals within the UK of working age are actually restricted by the MPAA. That is based mostly on the numbers who’ve used the pension freedoms and the fluctuations in employment patterns over the course of the pandemic.
“Growing the MPAA again to £10,000 would assist strengthen the UK financial system and enhance the retirement provision of the a whole lot of 1000’s of staff who left employment through the pandemic,” stated Lindsey Rix, Canada Life’s UK chief government.
A Treasury spokesperson stated: “The cash buy allowance impacts round 25 per cent of occupational outlined contribution savers aged 55 and over. The cap is designed to cease pensioners — who’ve already drawn down some or all of their pension —- from receiving double tax reduction by funding ongoing financial savings with their present pension pots, which have usually accrued with none taxation.”