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Relief as Euro threat recedes

The threat to the UK&#39s tax-free lump sum on pensions has receded after a compromise on the EU pensions directive.

The European Parliament had called for the 25 per cent tax-free lump sum to be used for retirement income only, which would have effectively ended the tax break.

It has also agreed to water down the required benefits of its prototype pan-European pension. It had wanted to include life insurance benefits as an obligatory requirement of the EU-wide pension that life offices can offer across borders but the requirement has now been dropped.

The tax-free cash compromise was agreed after lobbying by UK bodies including the National Association of Pension Funds and the Engineering Employers&#39 Federation.

NAPF chief executive Christine Farnish says: “We are relieved to see the main threats to our established occupational pension system app-ear to have gone. However, we still have some concerns, especially over pension scheme funding measures.”

Britannic Retirement Solutions head of corporate affairs Jim Boyd says: “This will give a degree of comfort to the UK pension industry.”

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