On the 6th April 2006 the government introduced new pensions legislation designed to simplify pensions provision in the UK. This will effect all existing pension plans including personal pensions, AVC’s, retirement annuity plans, income drawdown, self invested pensions and all company pension schemes.

Our pension act service
Our free pensions act review service is designed to assess the impact changes have on your retirement planning and detail new opportunities available, most notably the opportunity to invest your pension fund in a much wider range of assets. More about our pension services.

The Pensions Act 2004 – basic changes

Introduction of the lifetime allowance
A new lifetime savings limit will be introduced. Set at £1.5 million for 2006/07, and increased each year, any saving in excess of this limit will be subject to taxation.

Tax free cash
Now available from all types of pension at a flat rate of 25% of the fund value, including AVC’s and protected rights (SERPS).

Primary & enhanced protection
To allow people with large funds near or in excess of the lifetime allowance and/ or with existing tax free cash entitlement in excess of 25% to apply for protection of all existing pension provision.

Improved investment flexibility
A wide range of new permitted investments will be available. Learn about self invested personal pensions.

New contribution limits
Revised annual savings limits will be introduced. Individuals without relevant earnings (salary) can pay up to £3,600 per annum. Employed and self employed individuals with relevant earnings can pay up to £3,600 or 100% of earnings if greater, subject to the overall annual allowance. Employers can make unrestricted contributions provided the total of employee and employer contributions do not exceed the annual allowance. The annual allowance is set at £215,000 for 2006/07. Any contributions in excess of this limit will be subject to taxation. Current contribution limits.

Changes to the minimum retirement age
The minimum retirement age will be increased from 50 to 55 from 6th April 2010 and from April 2006 members of company pension schemes will not have to retire to draw benefits.

Option to defer the state pension
The Department for Work and Pensions have announced that individuals who choose to take their state pension late can receive a one off payment or an increased weekly pension. The lump sum is worth over £30,000 for individuals deferring for five years.

New pension annuity options
Traditional annuity options will be extended to include a value protected annuity and a fixed term annuity. More about our pension annuity service.

Removal of carry back & carry forward
Carry back and carry forward will be abolished together with basis and cessation years.

Triviality extended
The trivial pension limit will be set at 1% of the lifetime allowance for people aged 60 or over. This allows an individual retiring in 2006/07 with total pension funds from all sources of less than £15,000 to take the total as a cash sum.

New income drawdown rules
Income drawdown will be known as unsecured income, with the minimum GAD income requirement reduced to £0 and the maximum increased to 120%. Reviews will be extended to every five years. A new alternatively secured pension option will be introduced to allow people to continue in a new form of drawdown past age 75. Learn about income drawdown.

Tax relief on life assurance
After April 2006 life assurance policies can be written as pension term assurance plans reducing costs as premiums will be eligible for tax relief. Life assurance quotes.

Additional pension services
We provide a research and recommendation process for personal pensions, stakeholder pensions and self invested personal pensions. This includes calculating how much you need to save for your retirement and advice on asset allocation to help build a suitable investment portfolio inline with your attitude to risk and investment objectives. More on investment planning and fund performance.

Our comparison of charges service is used to check the charges levied on personal pension plans. As many pension providers and life assurance companies still impose higher charges on older pension plans we compare and analyse the effect of transferring your pension savings to the newer lower charged pensions.

Our investment review service is designed to assess the investment performance of your existing pension plans against their peers, and your attitude to investment risk. If your pension funds are underperforming or your funds are out of line with your attitude to investment risk, a revised profile will be provided.

A transfer analysis service is also available if you have a deferred company pension.

To request a quote
Complete our online personal or self invested pension enquiry form or call one of our specialist pension advisers to request your free pension review. As an internet-based firm of independent financial advisers, we provide advice over the telephone, via email, and through the post. Dealing with you in this way allows us to discount our charges and commissions to provide you with the very best personal and self-invested pensions.

Help & advice
There are many different options to consider when choosing a personal pension and it makes sense to take advice from a qualified pension specialist who is independent and can offer you products and services from the whole of the market place. Please call one of our independent advisers or contact us to discuss the different options available to you and to request a quote for your personal or self invested pension.