Pension tax allowances

This is a complex area of personal taxation and while the information on this page may help you make informed choices about your pension savings, if you are unsure how the allowances may affect you, you should seek independent financial advice.

The Annual Allowance is the yearly amount of pension savings you can build up in registered pension schemes before a tax charge could arise. For tax years from 6 April 2020, if your taxable income is less than £200,000, then you will continue to have the standard £40,000 Annual Allowance. If it's above that amount, your Annual Allowance could reduce on a sliding scale to the minimum of £4,000. Lower limits apply to previous tax years.

Read more in our Pension tax – Annual Allowance leaflet.

The Lifetime Allowance is the total amount of registered pension scheme benefits you can build up over your working life before a tax charge arises and is usually tested when you access your pension savings.

From 6 April 2020, the Lifetime Allowance is £1,073,100. It is expected to increase each April in line with inflation. There are tax protections available to enable you to maintain a higher personal Lifetime Allowance.

Find out more from the Pensions Advisory Service.

Managing the allowances

If you exceed the allowances, then your pension savings could be subject to an Annual Allowance tax charge and/or a Lifetime Allowance tax charge. While some members want to avoid the tax charges completely and may opt out of the UUKPF in order to avoid them, others accept them and, usually with the help of independent financial advice, allow for them in their financial planning.

For eligible employees who would like to manage their Lifetime Allowance and/or Annual Allowance position by opting out of the UUKPF and ceasing to build up further pension savings, Unilever offers an alternative salary supplement (the Unilever Cash Alternative and Risk Benefits Scheme). Opting out of the UUKPF is an important decision and one you should consider carefully.