Examples of how the tapered annual allowance works

We have received lots of queries on the tapered annual allowance and how it impacts different individuals. We thought we’d help by putting together a few case studies to show how it works in practice.

As a reminder, read our previous article on the Tapering of annual allowance for high incomes.

Annual allowance flowchart

*for a DB scheme, this would be the pension input amount less any employee contributions.

Key facts
  • The annual allowance will be reduced for individuals who have ‘adjusted income’ over £150,000 a year.
  • The annual allowance reduces by £1 for every £2 over £150,000
  • The maximum reduction is £30,000
  • The reduction does not apply to individuals who have ‘threshold income’ of no more than £110,000.

PTM057100: Annual allowance: tapered annual allowance


  • Simon has employed income of £150,000 and rental income of £24,000 this tax year.  His employer makes contributions of £30,000 to a GPP and Simon makes contributions of £15,000.
  • Simon’s adjusted income is £150,000 + £24,000 + £30,000 = £204,000.
  • Simon’s threshold income is £150,000 + £24,000 - £15,000 = £159,000.
  • The reduction to Simon’s annual allowance is (£204,000 - £150,000) / 2 = £27,000.
  • His annual allowance is therefore £40,000 - £27,000 = £13,000.  Simon faces an annual allowance tax charge on £32,000 (£30,000 + £15,000 - £13,000) unless he has unused annual allowance to carry forward from previous years. 


  • Rex is self-employed with income of £150,000 this tax year.  He also has dividends from his investments of £10,000.  He makes a single contribution of £55,000 to a PP this year using carry forward.
  • Rex’s adjusted income is £150,000 + £10,000 = £160,000.
  • Rex’s threshold income is £150,000 + £10,000 - £55,000 = £105,000.
  • As Rex’s threshold income is below £110,000, the taper does not apply.


  • Ruby is employed in the public sector with earnings of £185,000 this tax year and is a member of a defined benefit scheme.  Her contribution rate at this level of earnings is 14.5% (£26,825).  Her pension input amount is £55,000.  This is the closing value of her accrued pension less her opening value increased by CPI.  See this article for more information.
  • Ruby’s adjusted income is £185,000 + £28,175= £213,175.  The employer contribution here is the pension input amount of £55,000 less the employee contribution of £26,825. 
  • Ruby’s threshold income is £185,000 - £26,825 = £158,175.
  • As Ruby’s adjusted income is over £210,000, her annual allowance is reduced to £10,000.  She has no unused annual allowance from previous years, so she will face an annual allowance tax charge at her marginal rate of tax on £45,000 as her pension input amount is £55,000.  She could ask the scheme to pay this on her behalf as the charge will be above £2,000.  The scheme would then make a reduction to her benefits.


  • Sebastian has employed income of £140,000, a car allowance of £7,500, taxable savings interest of £2,000 and a redundancy payment of £50,000 this tax year.  His individual and employer contributions to a GPP this year are 10% (£14,000) each.
  • Sebastian’s adjusted income is £140,000 + £7,500 + £2,000 + £20,000 + £14,000 = £183,500.
  • Sebastian’s threshold income is £140,000 + £7,500 + £2,000 + £20,000 - £14,000 = £155,500.
  • Only the taxable element of the redundancy payment above £30,000 is included in Sebastian’s definition of adjusted and threshold income.
  • The reduction to Sebastian’s annual allowance is (£183,500 - £150,000) / 2 = £16,750.
  • His annual allowance is therefore £40,000 - £16,750 = £23,250.  Sebastian faces an annual allowance tax charge on £4,750 (£14,000 + £14,000 - £23,250) unless he has unused annual allowance to carry forward from previous years.


The information provided is based on our current understanding of the relevant legislation and regulations and may be subject to alteration as a result of changes in legislation or practice. Also it may not reflect the options available under a specific product which may not be as wide as legislations and regulations allow.

All references to taxation are based on our understanding of current taxation law and practice and may be affected by future changes in legislation and the individual circumstances of the investor.

Last updated: 12 May 2017

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