Lifetime allowance protection – online servicing

25 August 2016
HMRC’s long-awaited service allowing pension scheme members to apply to protect pension savings from the lifetime allowance charge was launched on 28 July 2016.

This means that the interim paper based process that had been in place since April 2016  is no longer available. The new service covers individual protection 2016 and fixed protection 2016 and also replaces the online form for applying for individual protection 2014.

To apply for protection online, the member first has to create an HMRC Online Services account (if they don’t already have one). This account (also known as a Government Gateway account) gives access to other Government online services as well such as tax return completion and submission and has to be set up by the member – it can’t be done by a third party. Once created however, the member can appoint a third party to complete the application.

If the application is successful, a certificate is created immediately which can be printed. This certificate gives no personal details, only a reference number. A provider can then use this reference number to match the protection with the member online. This look-up service is not currently available however.

Members who received a temporary reference number using the interim process before 28 July need to re-apply online to receive a permanent number, otherwise any future benefit crystallisation events will not benefit from the higher personal lifetime allowance.

About the author

Jim Grant

Senior Product Insight & Technical Support Analyst

Last updated: 26 Aug 2016

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