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Government abandons plan to tax inherited pensions for those who die before age 75

A welcome move for those who wish to pass on their wealth to loved ones when they die.

The Chancellor may not have scrapped Inheritance Tax in his Autumn Budget Statement as had been widely speculated about, but in a significant development, he has given an early Christmas present for all those who want to leave as much of their assets as possible to their loved ones.

The UK government has chosen to abandon its earlier plans to impose taxes on pension funds that are passed down to family members by individuals who pass away before the age of 75. The decision, confirmed in the Autumn Statement, brings relief to many beneficiaries and pension holders alike, as it ensures that income withdrawals received by beneficiaries in such cases will not be subject to taxation.

Background: Earlier Taxation Plans

Initially, HMRC had announced plans in the summer to tax inherited pensions for those who died before reaching the age of 75. This would have affected individuals who left behind uncrystallised pension funds, intending to provide their beneficiaries with pensions through drawdown or annuity options, making them taxable.

Current Taxation Rules

Under the existing regulations, beneficiaries can inherit defined contribution pensions tax-free if the pension amount falls within the individual's lifetime allowance, provided they pass away before the age of 75.

This exemption has now been confirmed to remain in place, safeguarding the tax-free status of these pensions, effective from April 2024.


Colin Barrett-Treen is a Director & Principal Estate Planner at Peritum Wills.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Taxation, Trust advice or Will writing.

Trusts are a highly complex area of financial planning.

Information provided and any opinions expressed are for general guidance only and not personal to your circumstances, nor are they intended to provide specific advice.

Tax laws are subject to change and taxation will vary depending on individual circumstances.

Ancojada wills Limited trading as Peritum Wills is not authorised or regulated to provide financial advice.

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