Pensions technical area

Pensions can be complex and confusing, especially when they are involved in life stages and events.

Find out more about those tricky pension issues you might need help with. This is our understanding of current practice and legislation. We can’t give advice - always speak to an adviser.

Annual Allowance

This is the maximum you can earn or save in a pension each tax year before paying tax.

For defined contribution schemes this includes the contributions both you and your employer pay.

For defined benefit schemes it is the amount of pension you have earned over the tax year – allowing for inflation, multiplied by 16.

Find out more about Annual Allowance.

Annual Allowance - Money Purchase Annual Allowance

If you take a defined contribution pension pot flexibly, the amount you can pay into other defined contribution pension pots reduces.

If you go over this new reduced limit you will have to pay tax on the excess.

Find out more about Money Purchase Annual Allowance.

Annual Allowance - Scheme Pays

If you have an Annual Allowance tax charge to pay, and this is more than £1,000 you can ask us to pay this for you.

We will take this from your pension and pay the charge to HMRC on your behalf.

Find out more about Scheme Pays.

Annual Allowance - Tapered Annual Allowance

If your taxable earnings for the year are more than £150,000, for every £2 you earn between £150,000 and £210,000, your Annual Allowance reduces by £1.

This means if you earn above £150,000 a year you face a bigger risk of an Annual Allowance tax charge.

Find out more about how Tapered Annual Allowance.

Automatic Enrolment

Most organisations in the UK are now required to have a pension scheme and put certain staff into it. If you have questions about how this works, the first step might be to look at the Pension Regulators website.

For more Church specific questions and answers, see our own FAQs. 

Divorce and dissolution

If you are going through a divorce, or your civil partnership dissolves, the Court may take your pension into account. If they do, you might need some information and figures from us.

Find out more.

Family leave

If you take a break from work for family leave, such as maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave, check what happens to your pension while you are off work.

Find out more.

Ill health retirement 

If you need to stop working due to health problems, you might be able to access your pension early. You should speak to your employer first, and if they agree you can explore ill health retirement.

Find out about the steps you should take if you need to retire on health grounds.

Clergy ill health guide

Lifetime Allowance

This is the limit on how much you can earn or save in a pension over your lifetime before paying tax.If you exceed the limit you might have to pay tax on the amount you exceed, but you can get protection. 

Find out more about Lifetime Allowance.

Pension Builder 2014 bonuses

Every year we try to add a bonus to everyone’s Pension Builder 2014 account.

Whether we can afford to do this depends on our investment performance for the year. If we can add a bonus, we spread this over 12 months.

Find out more about Pension Builder 2014 bonuses.

Pension Builder Classic discretionary increases

Every year we try and increase everyone’s Pension Builder Classic pension.

Whether we can increase pensions depends on financial factors and conditions. These factors have played against us in recent years and we have been unable to add an increase since 2011.

Find out more about discretionary increases.

Powers of Attorney

If you lose ‘capacity’ you might need someone to help manage your affairs. If you do, you’ll probably need a Power of Attorney.

Capacity can be both mental and physical.

Find out more about Powers of Attorney and what we can accept.

Small Pension Lump Sums

If your pension is worth less than £10,000 you might be able to take this as a lump sum.

This is designed to help get the most from small pensions, and save you having a small pension or annuity. You can take 25% tax free and the rest is taxed as income.

Find out more about Small Pension Lump Sums.

Staff transfers – TUPE

If staff transfer employer under TUPE, many contractual rights also transfer. Pensions are complex and you might not be offered the same pension scheme, or the same deal.

Find out more about what happens to your pension under TUPE.

Trivial Commutation

If you have a defined benefit pension with us, and this is worth between £10,000 and £30,000 we might be able to pay this to you as a lump sum.

The rules around this are complex and you must take all payments like this within 12 months of each other.

Find out more about Trivial Commutation.

Uncrystallised Funds Pension Lump Sums

When you come to take a defined contribution pension pot, you can take the first quarter of this tax-free.

Instead of using the rest to provide an income, you can take it as a taxed lump sum.

Find out more about how UFPLS works.

Unpaid leave and sick leave

If you are off work because of illness, or you are taking unpaid leave, pension contributions might stop. You might not build up pension for the period of you are off work., but your life cover still continues.

Ask your employer whether they will pay contributions while you are off work.

Find out more about pensions when you are on long term leave.