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HomeProperty InvestmentThe wealthy individual's information to pension contributions

The wealthy individual’s information to pension contributions


The purpose to encourage pension contributions from the federal government’s viewpoint is to get extra folks to avoid wasting for his or her outdated age and so to not be depending on the state.

However the purpose to make pension contributions from our viewpoint is to minimise the quantity of tax we pay over our lifetimes.

In spite of everything, we are able to save for outdated age in all method of the way. Locking up cash inside a pension subsequently requires an additional incentive – and the chance to avoid wasting tax is that push.

In precept, outlined contribution (DC) pensions are fairly easy:

  • You contribute to your pension ‘gross’ of tax (i.e. earlier than earnings tax is taken off).
  • Your pension pot grows tax-free.
  • Lastly, you pay tax on the withdrawals on the time you’re taking them.

All else being equal (particularly your tax charge whereas working and your tax charge in retirement) it is a tax deferral technique.

Pensions solely flip right into a tax mitigation technique once we get a better charge of tax reduction on pension contributions than we pay on drawing the earnings in retirement.

As finance nerds, we wish to maximise the ‘unfold’ between these two charges, with as a lot cash as potential, with the least potential danger. 

Present me the OAP cash!

With the abolition of the pension Lifetime Allowance (LTA) – which we’ll come to – I sat right down to work out the optimum pension contribution technique.

It ought to have been simple, proper?

All that you must do is:

  • Work out your marginal tax charge to drawdown cash out of your pension in retirement as a operate of pension pot measurement.
  • The larger your pot, the extra earnings you’ll want to attract, and the upper your tax charge on drawings. 
  • Low cost these pot sizes again to at the moment utilizing your anticipated funding return within the pension.
  • In case your present marginal tax charge is above the extraction tax charge for the pension pot measurement that you simply at the moment have (discounted again to at the moment), then contribute. In any other case don’t. 

Therefore all I wanted to know was: once I’ll retire, the tax regime that will probably be in place then, how lengthy I’ll stay, and what my funding returns will probably be earlier than and through retirement. 

Ahem. Maybe not surprisingly: I failed.

Nevertheless my evaluation turned up some titbits that I’ll share at the moment within the hope they’ll assist a few of you, too.

A current Monevator ballot confirmed a majority of our readers are higher- or additional-rate taxpayers.

And with earnings tax thresholds frozen and inflation dragging extra folks into greater tax brackets that quantity is simply going to develop.

Wealthy folks’s issues

What we’re making an attempt to optimise with our pension contributions is that this:

Now, for the needs of this put up we’re going to faux that we stay within the idealised world of finance professors.

On this textbook world we are able to:

  • Transfer cash throughout time on the similar low cost charge.
  • Borrow, lend, and make investments arbitrarily giant quantities of cash at this charge.
  • Afford to make tax optimum pension contributions with out contemplating anything.

Subsequently the solely consideration we’re making on this article is maximising the unfold between contribution tax reduction and the tax charge on extraction.

This can be a extremely simplifying assumption. However it’s a cheap approximation for pretty wealthy folks. For everybody else, not a lot. (You may’t purchase meals with cash you’re not going to get for 20 years.)   

I’ve additionally form of implicitly assumed that you simply’re making choices about pension contribution charges after you’ve already crammed your ISA (and your partner’s).

That is additionally extremely unrealistic. It’s fairly an ask to give you £40,000 of post-tax earnings to place in an ISA, while additionally making maximally tax-efficient pension contributions.

Fortunately although, that’s my scenario and subsequently the one among most curiosity to me.

For most individuals there’s a trade-off between ISA and pension contributions. The dialogue that follows would possibly assist you weigh up the stability to your personal scenario.

Please observe and to keep away from me having to repeat myself: every little thing I’ve written under is below the present guidelines. (Till we speak about future coverage uncertainty, clearly.) 

Additionally do not forget that the tax code is thorny and everybody’s circumstances differ vastly.

Get skilled tax recommendation in case you want it. This text is all simply meals for thought.

The fundamentals: direct contributions vs wage sacrifice

Let’s begin at the start. How do you finest pay into your pension?

Direct contributions

You write a cheque to your SIPP supplier for £80 they usually gross it up by the essential tax quantity. Which implies you find yourself with £100 in your SIPP.

  • This can be a ‘internet contribution’ of £80 and a ‘gross contribution’ of £100.

The excellence is essential once we get to the boundaries on contributions and so forth, as a result of what counts is the £100 quantity, not the £80.

Now, in case you are a basic-rate taxpayer that’s it. You’re all grossed-up, so to talk.

In case you’re a higher-rate taxpayer or above, nonetheless, then you definitely report this (gross) contribution in your tax return. HMRC adjusts your (gross) earnings down by the quantity of the (gross) contribution, and also you’ll be owed a refund.

For instance, in case your marginal tax charge is 40%, then you definitely’ll get a  refund of £20 in your £100 gross. Which makes the efficient ‘value’ of placing £100 into your pension simply £60.

  • You write a cheque for £80, you could have £100 in your pension, and also you get a cheque again from HMRC for £20. Web value: £60. 

That the contribution is used to ‘cut back’ your earnings from a tax viewpoint is essential.

Crucially, in case you’re within the 60% tax bracket – between £100,000 and £125,140 – then you definitely successfully get 60% tax reduction in your contributions. (As a result of decreasing your earnings will get a number of the annual allowance ‘taper’ again, which is the reason for the 60% charge within the first place.)

For completeness, in case you’re a forty five% taxpayer:

  • You’ll get £25 again from HMRC if you file your tax return. 

Taxed from each angle

In apply, you might discover you pay a number of charges of tax reduction from a single contribution.

For instance, in case you earn £150,000 and make a £60,000 contribution, that contribution will expertise tax reduction partially at 45%, 60% and 40% charges:

Wage sacrifice

The opposite strategy to make pension contributions is to sacrifice a few of your wage. Right here you instruct your employer to pay some proportion of your pay into your pension scheme as an alternative of to you.

The essential distinction with this association is that there isn’t a Nationwide Insurance coverage (NI) due on this fee, as a result of it’s not ‘pay’.

Now nominally this may not sound like a giant deal. Workers NI is simply 2% (largely).

Nonetheless each little helps, as you possibly can see within the desk under.

However you saving a number of quid isn’t why your big-hearted employer is at all times sending you emails extolling wage sacrifice as a strategy to pay for electrical vehicles, bikes, pensions, and goodness is aware of what else.

No. Your employer is motivated by the 13.8% employers’ NI that it doesn’t need to pay on no matter you wage sacrificed into your pension.

Your employer saves £13.80 per £100 of wage sacrifice. So most likely crucial query on this complete put up is: are you able to get your employer to share a few of that cash saved with you?

Nicely, are you able to?

It relies upon. Some employers do it by default. Others don’t. And a few – large and small – will negotiate.

Personally I’ve efficiently negotiated a sharing of those financial savings both firm-wide or as a particular deal for me (“I received’t inform anybody else”).

You do have some leverage. In spite of everything, you possibly can simply make a direct contribution. It’s 2% dearer for you, however 13.8% dearer for them. After we method the boundaries of maximising the quantity of tax we reserve it seems it’s extremely delicate to the flexibility to clawback some employers’ NI, so I’d encourage you to go for it.

Normally, any sharing of those financial savings goes into the pension contribution, moderately than as (taxable+NI) money to you – in any other case the method is a bit round.

This makes the maths a bit bizarre, as a result of we’re now ending up with £113.80 within the pension for every £100 of wage sacrifice:

If we renormalise that again to the price of £100 within the pension we get this: 

The ‘gross contribution’ in case you sacrifice £100 of wage and your employer pays £113.80 into your pension is £113.80, not £100. 

If we’re hitting our peak tax mitigation potential – that’s, contained in the 60% bracket – then we’re foregoing simply £33.39 in internet pay to get £100 in our pension.

Employer matching

There’s a authorized obligation to your employer to make pension contributions in your behalf, and to deduct a minimal contribution from you. It’s normally one thing like they pay 4% and also you pay 4%.

You may opt-out of this (I consider…) however why would you? It’s just about free cash.

On condition that your employer-matched contribution is processed as wage sacrifice, you find yourself with this: 

There’s just about no extraction tax charge on drawdown that will render these contributions not worthwhile.

Certainly, throughout my pension wilderness years enforced by the LTA, the employer match was all I did. 

Employer pension schemes vs SIPPs

A typical criticism I hear about wage sacrifice (SS) is you can solely SS into your employers’ chosen pension scheme.

The scheme with poor funding selections, obscure charges, and an internet site unchanged because the late Nineteen Nineties.

Nicely sure however that is trivially surmountable. Simply set the funding selection within the firm scheme to ‘money’ and each six months or so switch that money out of your firm scheme to your favoured SIPP.

Your organization received’t care. (In all probability.)

Contribution limits

There are limits to how a lot you possibly can contribute to your pension.

The restrict is the decrease of:

  • £60,000
  • Your complete employment earnings

Observe this restrict is on the scale of your gross contribution. 

The £60,000 restrict is ‘tapered’ (it turns into much less) in case you earn over £200,000 – or £260,000 as a result of the guidelines are, inevitably, pointlessly sophisticated. 

There may be additionally a mechanism known as carry again that lets you carry ahead (I do know…) your unused allowance from earlier years, for as much as three years.

Useful in case your earnings are very unstable.  

Abstract: getting the cash in 

We’ve established the price of getting cash into our pension scheme:

It’s value noting that in case you’re topic to the ‘Excessive Revenue Youngster Profit Cost‘, have issues like childcare tax-credits, otherwise you earn earnings from residential property (with a mortgage) then your marginal tax charge may very well be greater.

It’d even exceed 100%. 

An instance of what to not do: what I did

The problem is that you simply don’t know the longer term. Particularly, you don’t know your future earnings.

You wish to focus your contributions in years when you could have the very best marginal tax charge.

However when will that be?

What you actually wish to keep away from is a scenario the place you’re getting tax reduction at, say 40%, however you would (later) fill your pension with tax reduction at, say, 60%:

This isn’t removed from my scenario truly.

Excessive earnings and acute imposter syndrome early in my profession meant I contributed giant sums to get 40% tax reduction.

In a while I didn’t contribute – although I may have gotten 60% tax reduction – as a result of I used to be over the LTA.

In my defence, once I made these unique contributions the utmost earnings tax charge was 40%. We didn’t have the 60% band. Certainly, we didn’t have the LTA!

Nonetheless, I ought to have been extra affected person. 

This moderately emphasises the purpose that over very long time durations there’s monumental coverage uncertainty.

The pension pot then grows tax-free…

…or does it, actually?

I’d argue not.

Certain, from an administrative viewpoint you don’t need to pay capital positive factors on any positive factors or earnings tax on dividends (besides on some overseas dividends).

Nevertheless in the long run you’ll have to pay earnings tax in your positive factors – even when these positive factors solely stored up with inflation.

And earnings tax charges are greater than each capital positive factors tax and dividend tax charges.

Then there’s the chance that the federal government will simply resolve to confiscate some or all the positive factors, on this supposed ‘tax-free’ wrapper. Which they’ve achieved earlier than with the LTA. 

So, I’m unconvinced.

Given there exists a superbly good precise tax-free wrapper – the ISA – I’d argue that the allegedly ‘tax-free’ development within the pension isn’t, by comparability, tax-free. 

The ‘tax-free’ ness of funding returns within the pension pot must be ignored when contemplating the unfold between inbound tax reduction and outbound tax paid.

This isn’t to disregard the affect that funding development has on our capability to withdraw below sure tax thresholds, or to be topic to any future LTA cost. These concerns do very a lot matter. They need to feed into our estimates of the extraction tax charge.

Maybe an inexpensive base case is that our investments sustain with inflation, however that tax allowances don’t. (Affordable as a result of this has been the scenario for a few years).

Cashing out

Ultimately the enjoyable bit!

Kerching! Et cetera et cetera.

Truly, whereas spending your pension pot is actually extra agreeable than doing with out so as to fill it, within the meantime we’ve but extra maths to do.

Furthermore it seems that understanding the tax reduction we’ll get in on the way in which in was the straightforward bit.

Now we have to guess estimate work out our marginal tax charge in retirement, once we come to extract that money from our pension. 

The tax-free lump sum

Due to the pension graduation lump sum (PCLS) – generally simply known as the tax-free lump sum – you possibly can withdraw 25% of your pension tax-free, as much as a restrict of £268,275.

Successfully in case your pension pot is going to be value lower than £1,073,100, then you possibly can simply assume your tax charge for withdrawals is 75% of your precise tax charge.

For instance, you retire with a £1,000,000 pension pot. You pull £250,000 out tax free, and pay 20% on the remainder (by spreading the withdrawals over a few years).

  • Your marginal tax charge will probably be 75% of 20% = 15%

Nice, that’s decrease than the speed of tax reduction we obtained placing the cash in, whatever the circumstances. (See the chart above. The bottom quantity of tax reduction potential is 20%). 

Getting a camel by means of the attention of a needle

The bigger your pension pot although, the tougher it’s to drawdown at low tax charges.

In reality, given the low threshold for higher-rate tax (£50,270), your funding returns may be mediocre and but you possibly can nonetheless attain (non)escape velocity – the place you’re solely drawing down funding returns, and by no means ‘shrinking’ the pot. 

In case you do want to decide on between pension and ISA financial savings then you definitely additionally want to consider this dynamic. Don’t simply pour all of your financial savings into pension contributions. Due to the cap on the PCLS, the important thing inflection level is when your projected pot is on the right track to exceed the outdated LTA restrict of £1,073,100.

Summing up

Placing all of it collectively, we are able to calculate the ‘P&L’ in tax financial savings. By which I imply the variety of post-tax- kilos we’re higher off as a operate of tax-relief on the way in which in and tax-rate on the way in which out…

…relying on if our pot is under the outdated LTA restrict:

…or above it (LTA extraction charge at 55% included for completeness):

Avoiding over-saving

A shortcut is to consider worst case eventualities. Specifically, what we’re making an attempt to keep away from is the scenario the place we’re paying a better charge of tax on withdrawing than we obtained in tax reduction:

Don’t contact it

There’s another choice to contemplate, too.

People who find themselves fortunate sufficient to have a number of different property to attract on can merely by no means draw their pension down at excessive tax charges. They will simply depart it in there, rising.

Your beneficiaries can then draw it down at both 0% or their marginal tax charge, when you’re gone. It’s exterior your property for IHT functions.

We’ll focus on this a bit extra under, as a result of I consider it is extremely probably these guidelines will probably be modified.

For me personally – with youngsters, and with a few 25% probability of dying earlier than the age of 75 (and a 100% certainty ultimately) – that is fairly a helpful profit.

However received’t they modify the principles once more?

Sure after all they are going to.

So what tinkering would possibly we anticipate prematurely?

Reintroduction of the Lifetime Allowance

Bringing again the LTA is an odds-on favorite as a result of the Labour Occasion instantly dedicated to its reintroduction when the Tories abolished it. (A minimum of, for everybody who doesn’t work for the NHS.)

With that stated, they’ve not been significantly vocal about it since. Maybe now that the element in regards to the restrict on the tax-free lump sum has sunk in it appears much less of a precedence?

In spite of everything, in case you’re constraining the quantity of tax-relief that top earners can get on the way in which in, and the quantity they’ll get out tax-free, it’s not apparent that the LTA justifies its appreciable complexity.

On stability I feel it’s probably {that a} lengthy interval of ‘session’ about pensions will ensue. In the event that they don’t re-introduce the LTA then that session is prone to embrace at the very least one of many different possibles I’ll get to. 


  • Don’t save an excessive amount of in your pension. Give attention to these very excessive tax charge years.
  • Solely contribute in case your tax reduction on contributions is so excessive that you simply’ll nonetheless come out forward even in case you’re topic to the LTA cost .
  • Traditionally there have been ‘safety’ regimes accessible if the worth of your pension is above the LTA once they introduce it. That is to allow them to faux that the LTA isn’t, successfully, retrospective taxation. (Though after all it’s, even in case you’re under the LTA restrict when it will get launched).
  • Have the decrease return property in your pension and better return property in your ISA. (It is best to do that anyway.)

Adjustments to inheritance tax therapy / beneficiaries pensions 

As we’ve seen, one of many main advantages of getting cash into your pension is that, below the present guidelines, it’s exterior of your property for IHT functions.

I’ve mentioned beforehand how rich households are already utilizing this as an inheritance tax avoidance technique. (That earlier put up additionally goes into the mechanics of how). For individuals who are nonetheless working and whose estates would probably be topic to IHT, it is a very engaging planning car. It allows them to get very excessive charges of tax reduction. The result’s a extremely tax-efficient ‘belief fund’-like pot, which both they or their heirs can entry.

It’s unlikely, for legislative causes, that pensions will probably be introduced contained in the IHT internet. The most certainly change is that full tax-free withdrawal by beneficiaries if the benefactor dies below the age of 75 will probably be eliminated, and the identical guidelines apply no matter their age at dying.

Certainly this would possibly truly occur anyway as a part of the LTA abolition.

Pensions would nonetheless stay very helpful from an IHT planning viewpoint. The beneficiaries can drawdown when their marginal tax charge is low, for instance. Or they’ll simply deal with the entire thing as an emergency fund that they’ll get at in the event that they actually need to (and pay the tax to entry it). 

Over the long term I doubt having ‘beneficiary’ pension pots that may compound tax-free for many years and even centuries would survive the “So-and-so has £1bn of their pension” headlines. We’re not America.

Speaking of America, one other proposal sometimes raised is to drive beneficiaries to take a sure fraction of their pot as taxable earnings yearly. These are known as required minimal distributions.

However let’s not give our flesh pressers any concepts by discussing that additional right here, eh?

Flat-rate tax reduction

The tax-saving advantages of pension contributions rise along with your earnings, because of greater charges of tax reduction. Due to this, many individuals think about the tax planning we’re discussing at the moment as inherently ‘unfair’.

Critics argue the aim of tax reduction is to attempt to make sure you aren’t a burden on the state in your outdated age.

However excessive earners will save for his or her retirement anyway. They don’t want a tax incentive.

In distinction, as a result of they get much less tax reduction, decrease earnings folks have much less of a motivation to avoid wasting. But these are additionally exactly the individuals who want extra encouragement to take action.

The answer usually posed by left-leaning assume tanks is to supply tax reduction on contributions at a ‘flat’ charge. Someplace above the 20% primary charge, however under the 40% charge. Sometimes 30% is proposed.

Such a flat charge would give much less tax reduction to the wealthy and extra to the poor.

Full disclosure: I’m fairly sympathetic to this argument.

There can be numerous complexity concerned in implementing it – particularly for these in Outlined Profit (DB) schemes. Nevertheless, because the remaining DB schemes are just about all within the public sector, there’s no purpose (aside from equity) as to why there shouldn’t be a special (extra beneficiant) tax regime for them.

If we are able to have a special tax system for folks within the NHS, why not for all authorities workers?


In case you assume flat reduction is coming, your motion is dependent upon the tax reduction you at the moment get on contributions:

  • Are you a better / further / 60% charge taxpayer? Then you need to max out contributions that get tax reduction at these charges as a result of sooner or later tax reduction can be decrease. 
  • Are you a  basic-rate taxpayer? It is best to make minimal contributions now. Goal to extend your contributions when the flat charge is launched. 

Elimination of the earnings tax allowance taper (60% charge)

We will all agree that having a 60% charge in between the 40% and 45% charges is ridiculous, sure? So it’s not fully unimaginable that some future authorities will agree.

Labour has dedicated to not elevating earnings taxes once they type the following authorities. I think about they shan’t be reducing them both!

However in a second parliament they could get rid of the taper as a quid-pro-quo for rising further charge tax to 50%, for instance.


  • In case you’re a 60% taxpayer then pay the 60% slice into your pension, as a result of that reduction may not be accessible sooner or later. The identical slice would possibly solely appeal to reduction at 40%, 45% or 50% sometime. 

Typically greater earnings tax charges

A penny on earnings tax to “save the NHS”. One other one for “care”. One other one for our “courageous girls and boys preventing in some overseas conflict”. Oh, and one other one to ship some poor sods to Rwanda.

You already know the drill. Taxes just about solely go up, as state expenditure will increase sooner than the scale of the economic system. I consider that is is finest tackled by rising the scale of the economic system. However development appears to be even much less standard with voters than excessive taxes, which can be, anyway, largely paid by another person.

If earnings taxes are going up over the long run, then the final factor you wish to do is defer your earnings tax till later. You’d be higher off paying tax now.


  • Don’t save into your pension besides at very excessive tax reduction charges. 

Loopy issues {that a} authorities would possibly think about

All these potential revisions to the pension system appear considerably possible to me.

However the longer you’ve obtained till retirement the crazier it may get.

Right here’s only a random assortment of loopy concepts you see kicked about:

  • Means testing of the state pension – primarily based on personal pension ‘earnings’. This is able to favour ISA financial savings (which probably wouldn’t be counted) over pension earnings (which might). 
  • Means testing of the state pension – primarily based on ‘wealth’. Potential that pensions wouldn’t be counted, however ISAs would (as they’re for some wealth-based advantages, corresponding to unemployment profit). Favours pensions contributions over filling the ISA. 
  • The combination of NI and earnings tax. This clearly is smart, as a result of they’re each only a type of earnings tax. A correctly courageous authorities would wrap employers’ NI in too. (Though if folks actually knew how excessive tax charges are…) The pay-off for this bravery can be a lot greater earnings tax charges which is also utilized to ‘unearned’ earnings corresponding to earnings from pensions. Favours ISAs over pension saving.  
  • ISA lifetime allowance. I want John Lee within the FT would cease banging on about how a lot he has in his ISA. As a result of significantly, why draw consideration to it? Some form of cap on the worth in an ISA that’s eligible to be tax-free can be retrospective and extremely complicated to manage – however when has that ever stopped them? Clearly favours pension saving over ISA saving.
  • ISA allowance minimize (or an actual phrases minimize by means of fiscal drift). Favours getting money in your ISA when you can and leaving pension financial savings till later. Maybe if you’re on a better marginal tax charge?
  • Particular tax charges for pension earnings / an ‘Unearned Revenue Surcharge’. Consider employers’ and workers’ NI, and other people in employment pay a lot greater tax charges than the retired. That is unfair. Relatively than rolling NI into earnings tax, you would tackle this by taxing pension earnings at a better charge than employment earnings. This has much less behavioural affect, as a result of whereas employed folks will work much less in case you tax them extra, retirees don’t have any selection however to stay off their pensions. Favours ISA saving over pension saving.

How you can mannequin all these dangers? We will’t actually. You’ll have to make your individual evaluation.

The most effective insurance coverage coverage is to focus your contributions the place you get very excessive charges of tax reduction. That manner you’ll most likely come out forward in most circumstances. 

Ideas and tips with pension contributions

There’s at all times one thing extra to do with a tax code as sophisticated as ours!

Maintain it within the household

Be sure you plan your pension financial savings holistically along with your partner. Let’s say you cease working for a decade whereas the children are small, however your associate retains working. When you return to work you might be each higher-rate taxpayers. You will have a pension pot of £200,000 and your associate has one among £800,000.

Clearly, due to the PCLS cap, as a pair your pension contributions ought to take precedence over that of your associate’s.

Equally, if each your pension pots are small and one among you may get your employers’ NI by means of wage sacrifice and the opposite can’t… you already know which one to prioritise.

Possibly you need to even take into consideration pensions from the attitude of your complete household, as we confirmed beforehand

How you can get 60% tax reduction in case you’re a forty five% charge taxpayer 

You earn £190,000 a 12 months. You make the utmost gross contribution of £60,000 a 12 months. This brings your taxable pay right down to £130,000.

So that you’re solely getting 45% tax reduction on the contribution. And you might be paying 60% on most of that £30,000 above £100,000:

Is there one thing we are able to do to enhance this example? Nicely, sure, after all, in any other case I wouldn’t have introduced it up.

Through the use of ‘fallow’ years – the place we don’t make a pension contribution – we are able to use ‘carry again’ to hold ahead the unused allowance from the fallow 12 months to make a contribution that eats into our 60% tax charge.


This protects us £22,626 of tax over a nine-year interval – £2,514 every year – only for being organised. 

Fill your ISA along with your PCLS / tax-free quantity 

You wish to max out your pension contributions in the previous few years earlier than age 55? This doesn’t depart you adequate money to fill your ISA?

Then you are able to do one thing like the trick I confirmed beforehand. However watch out for the ‘pension recycling rule’. 

The pension recycling rule

Not focused at my trick linked to above significantly, however in case you improve your pension contributions ‘considerably’ previous to taking your tax free-amount, then HMRC has a particular rule geared toward clawing again your tax reduction.

Known as the recycling rule, it’s designed to… cease you utilizing pension contributions in precisely the way in which that Parliament supposed you utilize them.  

Scaling wage sacrifice

Is your employer paying its NI financial savings into your pension? Ensure that the quantity you’re decreasing your wage by (to get right into a decrease tax bracket, for instance) is lower than what’s going into your pension (as used to calculate the annual contribution allowance).

For instance, let’s say you earn £160,000 and also you wage sacrifice £60,000.

Your employer will probably be paying £68,280 into your pension, together with the NI financial savings. That is £8,280 over the annual allowance – except you’re utilizing carry again.

The utmost wage you possibly can sacrifice throughout the annual allowance is: £60,000/1.138 = £52,724.07.

This can depart a few of your earnings uncovered to the 60% tax charge. Watch out.


  • There are nearly no circumstances the place contributions to your pension that appeal to 60% or greater tax reduction or employer matching contributions will depart you worse off in the long term. That’s true even when the LTA is re-introduced in its outdated type.
  • Capturing a number of the employer NI as a part of your tax reduction could make a giant distinction. 
  • The bigger your pension pot, the extra that you must take into consideration coverage dangers.
  • As soon as your pension pot is over four-times the PCLS restrict, there’s little level in making direct contributions at 20% tax reduction.

Made it this far?

Need extra Finumus magic? Observe him on Twitter or learn his different articles on Monevator.




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