The Government is to consult on evelling the playing field for pension and lifetime annuity tax-free lump sums. As the new pension tax simplification rules stand, there is a perverse incentive for married people to buy single-life pensions. Leaving a spouse off the annuity increases the amount of the tax-free lump sum under a pension bec-ause it is calculated as six-and-two-thirds times the pension. For example, a 74-year-old man could get more than 40 per cent of his personal pension or stakeholder fund as a tax-free lump sum by buying a single-life level pension. On the other hand, lifetime annuities can only provide a maximum of 25 per cent of the fund tax-free. If the rules set out in the 2004 Finance Act are unaltered, there is a danger that older women pensioners, already the poorest in the country, will become even poorer because their husbands would buy singlelife rather than joint-life annuities. The Revenue’s consultation is therefore welcomed.