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HMRC plans help to avoid fixed protection losses

HM Revenue & Customs is planning a retrospective power in the Finance Bill to protect people against the loss of pension fixed protection.

Changes saw the annual allowance for tax-privileged pension saving cut from £255,000 to £50,000 from April 2011. The lifetime allowance was also reduced from £1.8m to £1.5m this year.

Savers had until April 5 to apply for fixed protection to retain the £1.8m allowance. Anyone who does not have fixed protection will see savings above £1.5m taxed at 55 per cent.

In July last year, Money Marketing revealed industry concern that people could void fixed protection if they are automatically enrolled into a scheme.

An HMRC spokesman says: “A regulation-making power will be introduced to allow changes to be made to the fixed protection legislation. This new power is intended to allow regulations to be made to help prevent an individual losing fixed protection in certain specific circumstances.”

Rowanmoor Pensions head of pensions technical services Robert Graves says: “I expect this will be used to mitigate the auto-enrolment fixed protection problem.”

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