LTA abolition dubbed ‘chaotic and disorganised’

15 May 2024

The abolition of the pension lifetime allowance has proved “chaotic and disorganised”, according to the pensions industry.

Andrew Phipps, chair of the Association of Member-Directed Pension Schemes (AMPS) said the majority of SIPP and SSAS attendees at the industry body’s annual conference believe that the pension changes in the past 12 months have been unacceptable in their implementation.

They described the abolition of the LTA as the most chaotic and disorganised change of the last two decades which had included A-Day in 2006, the pension freedoms in 2015, Consumer Duty in 2023, as well as dozens of other changes.

Phipps said: “There have been, and still are, lots of unanswered questions. We’ve seen last-minute clarifications, corrections and finally last-minute guidance from HMRC confirming that some customers should delay taking benefits or exercising their statutory rights to transfer their pension because of the poor legislation that has been rolled out. And this has all come about because the industry was not listened to.

“AMPS, along with TISA, the ABI, the Society of Pension Professionals and other industry bodies and providers, provided ample feedback to the Government, especially on the tight timescales involved so there really is no excuse.”

Phipps said attendees also expressed issues with other recent changes, including Consumer Duty, statutory money purchase illustrations, the General Levy consultation and pension scheme returns.

Phipps added: “It is not unexpected that the experts attending our annual conference feel that the pension changes made in the past year have been unacceptable in their implementation. It has been an intense and challenging 12 months for providers. We need to find a way so that when change happens, it happens smoothly with greater consistency, realistic timescales and without the need to constantly make amendments to plug gaps.”

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