Reduction in LTA - who will feel the effect?

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Julia Grimes
Published: 25 Feb 2016 Updated: 03 May 2016

Reduction in LTA - who will feel the effect?

It is now less than six weeks until the Chancellor introduces yet another attack on pension funding, with a further reduction in the lifetime allowance (LTA), to be introduced from 6th April. Gary Smith, Financial Planner at Tilney Bestinvest, delves into the far reaching nature that these changes will have.

“In the last Budget of the Coalition, in March 2015, George Osborne announced his third reduction in the pension LTA since 2012. The measure, to be implement in April will see the allowance cut from £1.25m to £1m following which it will be adjusted for inflation each year from 2018. We hope that this marks ‘ground zero’ as since Mr Osborne became Chancellor, the LTA has been reduced from £1.8m to the soon to be introduced limit of £1m, a savage reduction of almost 45% in less than 5 years.

“Whilst it could be argued that the previous reductions to the LTA have only impacted quite wealthy individuals, this latest reduction will impact those hard working individuals who have been prudent in their savings towards retirement. Indeed, it is not only those who have built up pension funds that are close to the £1m limit that need to be aware of this reduction as, due to future investment growth and pension funding, those who currently have much modest pension values today could be impacted.

“To highlight this, the table below illustrates what fund value a 40-year old pension saver would currently require to exceed the £1m limit by their 65th birthday. These projections assume that a 5% per annum growth rate is attained and that varying amounts of pension saving are made. Additionally, the Chancellor also noted that from the tax year 2018/19 the LTA will be indexed annually in line with the Consumer Price Index. For the purpose of this exercise I have assumed that this will rise by 2% per annum from 2018/19 tax year onwards:-

Current Fund Value

Assumed Future Contributions




£250 pm


£500 pm


£1,000 pm

Source: Tilney Bestinvest* Please note we have assumed a 5% growth rate per annum for illustration purposes only, however investments can go both up and down

“So, a 40-year old who does not intend to make any future contributions would exceed the £1m limit if their pension fund value is at least £465,000 and 5% per annum investment returns are attained. For those who are fortunate to be able to save £1,000 per month into pensions, they would exceed £1m if their fund value was currently £289,000.

“What is clear is that this reduction in the lifetime allowance is likely to impact on significantly more individuals than the 55,000 that the Chancellor estimated would be affected, and many pension savers will potentially face a very nasty surprise when they reach retirement by incurring a lifetime allowance tax charge on any excess above the £1m limit. The Chancellor would point out that new protections will be made available to those who could be affected but, as no further contributions could be made to secure Fixed Protection and, as Individual Protection is only available to those with pension funds that exceed £1m, these options are unlikely to offer any benefit to those individuals who are someway off their eventual retirement and who continue to save prudently.

“It also now seems inevitable that further attacks on pension tax reliefs and funding will be announced in the Chancellor’s forthcoming Budget statement on 16th March 2016 and, these changes could reduce the capacity for hard working savers to build up worthwhile pension values to support their anticipated retirement lifestyles.

“Indeed, the “squeeze” on pensions tax relief could be seen as a desperate act of a Chancellor in his attempt to secure a Budget surplus by the end of the current Parliament, whilst restricting his options to do so by promising not to increase Income Tax or National Insurance and ring-fencing some major departments from any spending cuts. Is this really what the Chancellor had in mind when he announced his much welcomed introduction of pensions freedoms and rewarding those who had saved all of their lives towards retirement?”

To discuss this issue or any other financial planning topic please contact Gary Smith on 0191 269 9971 /

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*For full data, please get in touch with the press team at Tilney Bestinvest

Important Information

The value of investments, and the income derived from them, can go down as well as up and you can get back less than you originally invested.

This article is not advice to invest or to use our services. If you are in doubt as to the suitability of an investment please contact one of our advisers.

If you are unsure of your options you should seek professional financial advice or visit

Prevailing tax rates and reliefs are dependent on your individual circumstances and are subject to change.

Press contacts:

Jason Hollands
0207 189 9919 / 07768 661382

Gillian Kyle
0203 818 6846 / 07989 650 604

About Tilney Bestinvest

Tilney Bestinvest is a leading investment and financial planning firm that builds on a heritage of more than 150 years. We look after more than £9 billion of assets on our clients’ behalf and pride ourselves on offering the very highest levels of professional client service with transparent, competitive pricing across our entire range of solutions.

We offer a range of services for clients whether they would like to have their investments managed by us, require the support of a highly qualified adviser, prefer to make their own investment decisions or want to take more than one approach. We also have a nationwide team of expert financial planners to help clients with all aspects of financial planning, including retirement planning.

We have won numerous awards including Stockbroker of the Year, Execution-only Stockbroker of the Year and Self-select ISA Provider of the Year 2015, as voted by readers of the Financial Times and Investors Chronicle. We are pleased that our greatest source of new business is personal referrals from existing clients.

Headquartered in Mayfair, London, Tilney Bestinvest employs over 400 staff across our network of offices, giving us full UK coverage, and we combine our award-winning research and expertise to provide a personalised service to clients whatever their investment needs.

The Tilney Bestinvest Group of Companies comprises the firms Bestinvest (Brokers) Ltd (Reg. No. 2830297), Tilney Investment Management (Reg. No. 02010520), Bestinvest (Consultants) Ltd (Reg. No. 1550116) and HW Financial Services Ltd (Reg. No. 02030706) all of which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 6 Chesterfield Gardens, Mayfair, W1J 5BQ.

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This release was previously published on Tilney Smith & Williamson prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.