It is that time of year again when people are asking themselves how much they, or their company, can pay into their pension.
The answer to that depends on many things but one thing everyone is likely to benefit from is being able to readily look up how much has already been paid in. That is why our latest development to our secure site, SIPPs Online, makes this information available.
SIPPs Online is available to all advisers who have clients with us and all SIPP members. If you haven’t already registered, simply contact your usual client manager to get this set up, or alternatively call 0344 443 0100, and you’ll soon be joining the many others already using it.
To access the data, all SIPP members have to do is select the new ‘Contributions’ tab at the top of their dashboard. For advisers, the first step is to identify the client in question and click through to their member zone.
The contributions tab gives three view options:
- current tax year
- previous tax years
- pick your own dates
The 'previous tax years' option allows you to go back as far as the 2014-15 tax year, which is handy for anyone looking to use carry forward. Picking your own dates allows you to span tax years.
On screen (as illustrated below), you will see data for the effective date of the contribution, its type (personal net, tax relief on personal net, or employer gross), the amount and the total for the period. All this information can also be downloaded or printed for use with financial or tax planning.
Unfortunately, it’s not all as easy as SIPPs Online.
Since 6 April 2016 those with a ‘threshold income’ of over £110,000 and an ‘adjusted income’ of over £150,000 have had to grapple with the widely-criticised and horribly complex tapering of the annual allowance. Within our Technical Takeaway that accompanied our 2016 seminar series, you will find our plain English explanation.
For employers, the slippery issue may be defining exactly what level of tax-relievable pension contribution HMRC’s non-prescriptive ‘wholly and exclusively’ rule allows them to make for employees. Our guidance to SSAS trustees could apply equally to SIPP members if they have their own company from which they would like to make contributions to their SIPP.
There are also a few people who should not be contributing to a pension at all. They include, but are not limited to, those who have registered for certain forms of protection against the lifetime allowance, which would be invalidated were they or their employer to make a contribution.
In any event, we would always recommend speaking to your financial adviser before making a pension contribution.