Advisers are being frustrated by Scottish Widows’ apparent reluctance to share details of schemes’ pension input periods, branding the firm’s policy “appalling”.
A PIP is the period over which pension contributions are measured for annual allowance purposes. Although most post-2011 schemes have PIPs aligned with the tax year, older arrangements commonly have periods set from the day the sfirst contributions were paid.
A number of advisers have become frustrated at Widows’ apparent refusal to share information on PIPs.
Wingate Financial Planning director Alistair Cunningham says: “Not furnishing advisers with sufficient information potentially exposes the pension holder to additional taxation and providers not putting it in writing leaves room for doubt when the information supplied differs from what you were told verbally. It’s appalling practise for firms not to provide information in writing when requested.”
Executive Benefit Services compliance managers Jennifer Malcolm says: “The implication of getting this calculation wrong directly impacts the client and could mean that they pay more tax. HMRC state that the pension scheme administrator will be able to confirm the member’s Pension Input Period.”
A letter sent by Scottish Widows to an adviser requesting information and seen by Money Marketing says: “Our position regarding pension input period information is it is not a requirement of a pension administrator to provide this information.This is a business decision which has been taken in line with the requirements of a pension administrator”.
A Scottish Widows spokesman says: “While we are not in a position to routinely provide detailed information on pension input periods, we can provide information on contribution dates on request, to assist advisers making calculations for clients.”