View more on these topics

Pensions minister: HMRC will not misuse SSAS de-registration powers

Pensions minister Guy Opperman has given assurances HM Revenue & Customs will not use powers to de-register legitimate small self-administered schemes, in a letter seen by Money Marketing.       

The letter from Opperman to MP Mike Freer dated 18 December 2017 attempts to answer concerns about the new powers HMRC will acquire this April to de-register schemes it believes are not used for legitimate retirement purposes.

These powers are contained in the Finance (No.2) Bill 2017-19, which is currently at the report stage in the House of Commons and and the authorisation regime introduced by the Pension Schemes Act 2017.

The former bill has been the subject of lobbying from former pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann who wrote an article in January warning about the potential negative effects of the legislation.

In the letter, Opperman says: “This legislation gives HMRC the power to de-register a scheme, or to refuse to register a scheme if a sponsoring employer is a dormant company, but it is not required to do so.

“HMRC would only de-register a scheme where it is satisfied that the scheme is not being operated for the provision of legitimate retirement benefits.”

Barnett Waddingham has also lobbied strongly as it is one of the largest players in the SSAS market with 2,177 plans and £4.1bn of funds under management.

It asked customers to take part in a ‘write to your MP’ campaign after industry responses to HMRC’s initial technical consultation regarding the draft clauses and the submitting of written evidence to the public bill committee did not seem to have any effect.

Barnett Waddingham Sipp technical specialist James Jones-Tinsley explains the effects of the campaign.

He says: “Pleasingly, a number of our clients took up our request, and we have since received back – via them – responses from their MPs.

“Perhaps the biggest success of all was a letter addressed directly to Philip Hammond; countersigned by one of our clients (who sits in the House of Lords) and Ros Altmann.

“Although – to date – there is no evidence that the draft legislation has been amended to assist in minimising the risk of de-registration to bona fide SSAS’s, reassuring words have been received from Mr Opperman and [economic secretary to the Treasury] Mr Glen that HMRC will not seek to de-register a pension scheme lightly, and we hope that will be borne out in practice.”

A HMRC spokesman says: “Where an existing registered pension scheme has a dormant company as a sponsoring employer, HMRC would only de-register the scheme where there is clear evidence that it is not being used to provide legitimate pension benefits within the tax rules.

“HMRC does not use the existing power to de-register schemes lightly, and this will continue with the extended power.”

Recommended

Business-Handshake-Meeting-Deal-Low-Angular-700x450.jpg

Barnett Waddingham acquires Chase de Vere Sipp and SSAS arm

Sipp provider Barnett Waddingham has bought adviser firm Chase de Vere’s Sipp and SSAS business in a deal which will see it take on 250 Sipps and 275 SSAS schemes. Barnett Waddingham has not disclosed the cost of the deal and says it has increased its Sipp portfolio to around 2,975 schemes equalling around £1bn […]

Business-Finance-Corporate-General-Paperwork-700.jpg

Barnett Waddingham launches flexible Sipp

Barnett Waddingham has launched a flexible Sipp product in response to demand from advisers. The product provides access to a range of discretionary fund managers, with the option of access to wider bespoke investment choices. Fees include a set-up fee of between £100 and £400, and an annual charge of £250. Drawdown options incur additional […]

Business-General-Handshake-Hire-Appointment-700x450.jpg

Barnett Waddingham acquires Sipp provider

Barnett Waddingham has acquired Wirral-based Sipp and SSAS provider Harsant Pensions for an undisclosed sum. The deal means Barnett Waddingham takes on 400 Sipp clients, taking its portfolio to over 2,725 schemes and more than £1bn in assets under administration . Its SSAS book is to grow by 70, to more than 2,100 schemes and […]

Sticking to valuation discipline when investing in China

Journalist Alexis Xydias discusses the opportunities – and potential pitfalls – of investing in China with Artemis fund manager Peter Saacke. With Peter holding significant positions in China in the Artemis funds he manages, journalist Alexis Xydias quizzes Peter on the risks of investing in Chinese stocks – including over-valuations, margin trading and financial reporting issues. Click here for video

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment