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‘400% Rise in pension guidance papers’

Pensions tax “simplification” has swamped the industry, with a 400 per cent increase in technical guidance and nearly double the number of pages of legislation that existed before A-Day.

Standard Life says Revenue & Customs has broken promises to sweep away hundreds of pages of pension legislation and almost 1,000 pages of guidance. It has also failed to live up to its pledge in the 2004 Finance Act which stated that 151 pages of primary legislation, together with an expec-ted 100 pages of secondary legislation and about 350 pages of guidance would replace over 350 pages of primary and secondary legislation and nearly 1,000 pages of guidance.

But Standard says the reality is that the industry has to grapple with 541 pages of legislation compared with 350 before A-Day and 1,369 pages of technical guidance compared with 1,000 before A-Day.

Head of pensions policy John Lawson says: “By the time all the tax simplification legislation is in place for the new regime, there is likely to be over 600 pages of legislation, nearly double what we had covering eight tax regimes before April 2006. On top of that, we have at least 1,500 pages of technical guidance a 400 per cent increase on what was envisaged two years ago. Simple? Hmmm.”

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