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The meaning of words which appear in bold underlined text are explained in the glossary. You can click on each term to see the definition.

The lifetime allowance (LTA) was an overall limit on the value of your pension benefits from all registered pension schemes before a tax charge would apply. This was known as the ‘lifetime allowance charge’. 

The lifetime allowance charge was removed with effect from 6 April 2023. However, the LTA could still affect the maximum one-off lump sum you can receive free of income tax when you take benefits. Lump sums taken in the 2023/2024 tax year that would previously have been subject to the lifetime allowance charge were instead taxed as income.

The LTA was abolished with effect from 6 April 2024, with transitional arrangements in place for benefits taken before 6 April 2024. 

We have provided further details below.

Please note that the way that the legislation introducing these changes was drafted had some unintended consequences. These need to be corrected with further legislation but this has been delayed due to the general election. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have suggested that you may want to consider deferring taking your benefits if any of the below apply:

  • You have enhanced protection or primary protection against the LTA and have protected lump sum rights of more than £375,000
  • You have enhanced protection and wish to transfer to a new pension arrangement
  • You have scheme specific lump sum protection
  • You are eligible for a lump sum death benefit from funds that crystallised prior to 6 April 2024
  • You wish to transfer to an overseas pensions arrangement

The new regime

The LTA has been replaced with a new regime which has two new allowances:

Fixed and individual protection

If you have one of the existing LTA protections, your lump sum allowance and lump sum and death benefit allowance will be increased. Broadly, the effect will be to maintain the entitlement you had prior to the abolition of the LTA based on your level of protection.

It is not too late to apply for fixed protection 2016 or individual protection 2016. The deadline for applications is 5 April 2025. If you think you may be affected by the LTA or the new allowances and are interested in applying for protection, please click on the following link for more information.

Protect your lifetime allowance

How the above changes to pensions tax may affect you

Please click on the scenario that applies to you.

1. If you have not taken your Rothesay benefits
  • If you take your benefits and opt to take a lump sum, this will be assessed against the lump sum allowance. You will also need to declare any lump sums that you have taken from other pension arrangements.
  • If you opt to take a lump sum, we will test against your available lump sum allowance and confirm how much it has used.
2. If your benefits are already in payment
  • The changes explained above will not affect your benefits already in payment, which will continue to be subject to UK tax at your marginal income tax rate for the tax year. 
  • If you have any pensions not yet in payment from other pension arrangements, you will need to let these pension arrangements know of any tax-free lump sums you have already taken (including any from Rothesay) when you take your benefits.
  • If you have taken lump sums close to the limit and have further benefits that may take you over then you may want to consider applying for Fixed Protection 2016 or Individual Protection 2016, as explained above.