Final Reminder – CIPP Survey – The Net Pay Anomaly: Call for evidence on pensions tax relief administration

24 September 2020

There’s still time for you to respond to the survey that the CIPP’s Policy and Research team have published, in order to collate the views of members and incorporate them into our formal response to the net pay anomaly: call for evidence on pensions tax relief administration.

The survey focuses on the issue that arises for individuals who earn above £10,000, so over the auto-enrolment threshold, but below the current basic tax threshold of £12,500. In a net pay arrangement pension scheme, they will have a full pension deduction taken from their pay, without receiving any tax benefit on this contribution as they have not earned enough for tax to be applied to their earnings. If an individual is in a relief at source arrangement, however, they would only have 80% of the contribution deducted from their net pay, which would subsequently be topped up with 20% from HMRC, meaning that they would enjoy the benefit of tax relief.

The government is concerned about the possible impact of this on a low-earning individual’s take-home pay, based on the method of pensions tax relief that is operated by the pension scheme that they are enrolled in. Intentions for the government to look into this were made clear in the Conservative manifesto 2019, which stated:

“A number of workers, disproportionately women, who earn between £10,000 and £12,500 have been missing out on pension benefits because of a loophole affecting people with net pay pension schemes. We will conduct a comprehensive review to look at how to fix this issue.”

The call for evidence aims to discuss improvements that can be made to the methods of administering pensions tax relief. Within the survey, we ask for your feedback on the government’s proposed methods of fixing the pensions anomaly issue. This is an important topic for payroll and pension professionals to have their say on, so although we understand you are all very busy, we would really appreciate any time you can dedicate to respond to the survey. It should take approximately 20 minutes to complete, and the survey will be open until 30 September 2020.

CIPP comment

The CIPPs policy and research team will also be holding a virtual roundtable event on 5 October and colleagues from HM Treasury and HMRC will be in attendance. Look out for invites which have been sent via email

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