Pension Changes in 2018 and beyond

23 April 2018

2017 was a relatively quiet year for pensions compared with previous years, and while there is nothing momentous coming up, there are still a few things happening in 2018 and beyond. Read on to find out more.

January 2018


31st January
Deadline for certain pension schemes established under trust to register with HMRC’s Trust Registration Service.
This applies where tax liabilities such as SDLT and SDRT have been incurred. HMRC have indicated that no penalties will be imposed if registration is late provided it was done by 5th March 2018.

March 2018


1st March
Date on which FCA’s rules for annuity comparators to be included in annuity quotations came into force.
13th March
The Spring Statement. No surprises sprung. This replaces the Spring Budget so from now on there will be one budget in the Autumn.
19th March
DWP published its White Paper on ‘Protecting defined benefit pension schemes’.

April 2018


1st April
The total minimum contribution for auto enrolment increased from 2% to 5%, of which 2% must be from the employer.
5th April
Deadline for removing Protected Rights provisions in the rules of DC Schemes where these were not overridden by the abolition of Protected Rights in 2012.
6th April

  • The Lifetime Allowance increased to £1,030,000.

  • HMRC have powers to de-register or register a pension scheme with a dormant employer. This aims to help prevent pension scams where fraudulent schemes have been set up.

  • The rules on bulk transfers between occupational pension schemes have been eased.

  • Scottish rates of income tax apply. Relief at source on pension contributions remains unchanged although more tax payers resident in Scotland will need to apply for additional tax relief.

May 2018


18th May
Deadline for submitting evidence to the Work & Pensions Committee on the DWP’s proposals in thier White Paper ‘Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes’.
25th May
GDPR comes into effect. This will increase the rights of data subjects (eg pension scheme members) and create more obligations for data controllers (eg scheme administrators).

June 2018


Ban on pensions cold calling expected to be put in place.

November 2018


The Budget is expected to be announced.
20th November
State pension ages for men and women are due to be equalised at 65, following which there will be a tiered increase to age 66 by 2020 and to 68 between 2037 and 2039.

On the horizon for 2018

  • Single Financial Guidance body to replace MAS, Pensions Wise etc.

  • The FCA’s Senior Managers Certification Regime extends to most regulated firms, including SIPP operators, replacing the Approved Persons Regime.

  • Further consultation expected on consolidation of defined benefit pension schemes.

And looking ahead to 2019


12th January
The IORP II directive is due to be implemented. The directive aims to improve governance and accountability in relation to occupational pensions.
29th March
The UK is due to leave the European Union. EU laws enacted after this date will not be binding on the UK.
The Pensions Dashboard is due to be launched in 2019.
There is a review of Financial Advice Market Review planned for 2019.

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