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Pension savings annual allowance calculator - introduction

From April 2014 the annual allowance for tax relief on pension savings in a registered pension scheme was reduced to £40,000. This includes savings made by anyone else into your pension, such as your employer. If your pension savings exceed the total of the annual allowance and any unused annual allowance you've available to carry forward, you'll have to pay an 'annual allowance tax charge'. You'll need to give details of this on a Self Assessment tax return.

For guidance on self assessment please follow the links below.
Self Assessment
Calculating and declaring the annual allowance charge through self assessment

Carrying forward unused annual allowance

Unused annual allowance can be carried forward to a current tax year from one or more of the previous three tax years. For the purposes of the calculator a 'current tax year' means the 2011 to 2012 tax year or a later tax year.

You can carry forward unused annual allowance from one or more of the previous three tax years only if you were a member of a UK registered pension scheme or qualifying overseas pension scheme at any time during the tax year concerned. You do not need to have made pension savings in every year but you do need to have been a member.

Example

Jim's pension savings for the 2014 to 2015 tax year has exceeded the annual allowance of £40,000.

Jim was a member of a UK registered pension scheme for all of the 2013 to 2014 tax year. He was a member of a UK registered pension scheme for part of the 2012 to 2013 tax year but was not a member of a pension scheme during any part of the 2011 to 2012 tax year.

Jim can carry forward unused annual allowance from the 2013 to 2014 and 2012 to 2013 tax years (if any is available from either or both of those tax years) but Jim cannot carry forward any available unused annual allowance from 2011 to 2012.

Information you need to use the calculator

You can use the calculator to work out whether you have any unused annual allowance that you can carry forward to a current tax year provided you were a member of a UK registered pension scheme, or qualifying overseas pension scheme. If you weren't a member in any year you won't be able to use the pension savings input calculator, as the result will not be accurate.

You cannot use the pension savings annual allowance calculator for flexible drawdown or split pension input periods as you'll need more detailed information to be able to calculate any unused annual allowance. There is further guidance below.
More information about flexible drawdown
Split pension input periods

You need to know your pension input amount for every tax year that you're using before you can work out if you have any annual allowance that you can carry forward. The best way to get this information is to ask your pension scheme administrator to supply it. If you have savings in more than one scheme you'll need to get this information from each pension scheme administrator. If you can't get these details from your scheme administrator you can use the pension input amount calculator to estimate the figures. However this calculator can't be used for all types of pension scheme.

If you're already taking a pension using 'flexible drawdown' the amount of your annual allowance will be reduced. You'll need more detailed information to be able to calculate any unused annual allowance. You won't be able to use the pension savings annual allowance calculator. There is further guidance below.
More information about flexible drawdown
Go to the pension input amount calculator

Before 6 April 2011 the annual allowance was higher and different rules applied.
Technical guidance - how the annual allowance worked before 6 April 2011

Split Pension Input Periods

If you have any pension input periods that started before 14 October 2010 and ended in the 2011 to 2012 tax year they will be split if all of your pension savings made in all of your pension input periods that end in the 2011 to 2012 tax year exceed the annual allowance of £50,000.

The pension input period will be split into two notional parts; one covering the period from the start of the pension input period to 13 October 2010 and the other starting on 14 October 2010 to the end of the pension input period.

This is because the annual allowance for the 2011 to 12 tax year was to be £255,000 but on 14 October 2010 it was announced that the annual allowance for that tax year would reduce to £50,000 and you may have already saved more than £50,000 when the change to the annual allowance was announced.

You can find out more about this by following the links below.
Split pension input periods
Technical guidance: Calculating pension input amounts for pension input periods that began before 6 April 2011

Using the calculator

If you have savings in more than one type of scheme you need to input the total value of all your pension savings into the calculator. The results are based on the information that you put into the calculator so it's important that you enter accurate information. If you use estimated figures the results won't be accurate. The outcome can be printed and kept for future reference. This will help you if you need to use the calculator again in future years.

Use the calculators

Go to the pension savings annual allowance calculator
Go to the pension input amount calculator

Useful links

The annual allowance for pension schemes
Annual allowance and lifetime allowance rates