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HMRC concern at low take-up of pension protection

HM Revenue & Customs' officials are surprised over the low number of people who have applied to protect their pension fund following the government's decision to cut the lifetime pension allowance.

Last year, ministers set out sweeping changes to pension rules which saw the annual allowance for tax-privileged pension saving cut from £255,000 to £50,000 from April 2011.

The lifetime allowance will also be reduced from £1.8m to £1.5m from April 6 2012. Savers have until 5 April to apply for fixed protection to retain the £1.8m allowance for their fund. Failure to apply for fixed protection will result in savings above £1.5m being taxed at 55 per cent, potentially costing investors hundreds of thousands of pounds.

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