Pensions Priorities: other developments — HMRC tightens its procedures to address pensions liberation issues

The July edition of Pensions Pieces included an article about an issue that continues to dominate much of the pensions press — pensions liberation. This, in basic terms, involves the early release of funds in pension arrangements to members, which in itself is not illegal but is subject to heavy tax penalties. However, certain businesses have been encouraging individuals to do this (usually by transferring the individual’s pension to the business’s arrangement from which cash will be released to the individual) frequently without providing correct or complete information to the individual about the financial consequences of doing so, or without saying that the business itself will be taking an often very significant slice of the pension fund as a fee before it is paid to the individual. It is this sort of activity that is commonly being referred to as pensions liberation fraud…

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