Fund protection summary

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The table below summarises the various fund protection options that have been introduced since 6 April 2006.

  Primary Enhanced Fixed 2012 Fixed 2014 Individual 2014 Fixed 2016 Individual 2016
Availability Only if total benefits exceeded £1.5m at 5/4/06 Open to anyone at 5/4/06 Open to anyone, except those already with Primary or Enhanced Open to anyone, except those already with Primary, Enhanced or Fixed 2012 Only if total benefits exceeded £1.25m on 5/4/14, except those already with Primary (on its own or as a back-up to Enhanced) Open to anyone, except those with Primary, Enhanced, Fixed 2012 or Fixed 2014 Only if total benefits exceeded £1m on 5/4/16, except those already with Primary (on its own or as a back-up to Enhanced) or Individual 2014
Protection Personal lifetime allowance calculated by applying enhancement factor (based on total value of benefits at 5/4/06) to LTA (now underpinned at £1.8m) Unlimited whilst enhanced protection applies Standard lifetime allowance of £1.8m Standard lifetime allowance of £1.5m Standard lifetime allowance equal to value of total benefits at 5/4/14, subject to a £1.5m ceiling Standard lifetime allowance of £1.25m Standard lifetime allowance equal to value of total benefits at 5/4/16, subject to a £1.25m ceiling
Registration Must have registered with HMRC by 5/4/09 Must have registered with HMRC by 5/4/09 Must have registered with HMRC by 5/4/12 Must have registered with HMRC by 5/4/14 Register with HMRC by 5/4/17 Register before benefits are taken* Register before benefits are taken*
Further pension provision Possible, but may result in lifetime allowance charge Protection lost if further contributions paid (DC) or increases are above 'appropriate limit' when benefits taken (DB) Protection lost if further contributions paid (DC) or increases are over rate of revaluation specified in scheme rules, otherwise by CPI (DB) Protection lost if further contributions paid (DC) or increases are over rate of revaluation specified in scheme rules, otherwise by CPI (DB) Possible, but may result in lifetime allowance charge Protection lost if further contributions paid (DC) or increases are over rate of revaluation specified in scheme rules, otherwise by CPI (DB) Possible, but may result in lifetime allowance charge
Lifetime allowance charge Yes, on any excess benefits over the personal lifetime allowance when crystallised No Yes, on any excess benefits over £1.8m (or any higher standard or personal lifetime allowance) when crystallised Yes, on any excess benefits over £1.5m (or any higher standard or personal lifetime allowance) when crystallised Yes, on any excess benefits over the amount protected (or any higher standard or personal lifetime allowance) when crystallised Yes, on any excess benefits over £1.25m (or any higher standard or personal lifetime allowance) when crystallised Yes, on any excess benefits over the amount protected (or any higher standard or personal lifetime allowance) when crystallised
Can it be given up or lost? Only if a pension debit (following divorce) reduces the value of the funds below the 'basic' SLA Yes Yes Yes Only if a pension debit (following divorce) reduces the value of the funds below the 'basic' SLA Yes Only if a pension debit (following divorce) reduces the value of the funds below the 'basic' SLA
Can it be held as a back-up to another fund protection option? Yes, to Enhanced No No No Yes, to Enhanced, Fixed 2012 or Fixed 2014 Yes, to IP14 (providing the FP16 conditions could still be met at the time IP14 is lost or given up) Yes, to Enhanced, Fixed 2012, Fixed 2014 or Fixed 2016

* - online applications to HMRC for Fixed 2016 or Individual 2016 will only be available from July 2016. HMRC have put an interim process in place for anyone who wants to take benefits in the period from 6 April 2016 to July 2016 but wants to benefit from either Fixed 2016 or Individual 2016. 

Key

DB - defined benefit. DC - defined contribution. LTA - lifetime allowance. SLA - standard lifetime allowance. 

Pensions Technical Services