Tax Relief for Pension Life Insurance Applications to be Honoured

Article published on 20th December 2006

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Following the recent announcement on the review of Pensions Term Assurance in the Pre Budget Report, the Treasury and HMRC have been engaged in discussions with insurance industry representatives on a number of issues. Life Insurance brokers and Life Insurance providers asked for further investigations regarding customers in their 'pipeline', i.e. those who had applied for a policy on or before the 6th December, but where the policy has yet to be issued. The following statement issued by HMT and HMRC is intended to provide that guidance these 'pipeline' cases.

Statement issued by HMT/HMRC:

Those customers who have applied for policies on or before the 6th December will be treated in the same way as those whose policies have already been issued - they will continue to benefit from tax relief, and will be unaffected by the announcement in the Pre Budget Report, with the conditions below.

In response to requests from the insurance industry we recognise that there will be some customers whose application was not received by the insurance company on or before the 6th December 2006, even though it had been completed by the customer and submitted, possibly via an adviser, to the insurance company on or after that date.

Therefore in all cases where an application applying for life insurance cover, has been fully completed on or before 6th December, submitted to the insurance company and receipt recorded by that insurance company by midnight on 13th December 2006 the existing tax relief regime will apply, provided that the "sum assured" issued is no greater than that applied for on or before 6th December 2006. Treatment of increases will be considered as part of the wider consultation. Insurers will have until 5 April 2007 to process this business, so that appropriate medical evidence can be checked and an appropriate commencement date for cover settled.

For the avoidance of doubt applying for life insurance cover does not include merely applying for a quotation with no other commitment.

This announcement is intended to ensure customers, their advisers and insurers benefit from clarity and certainty on this key issue in advance of the broader consultation into the future of pensions term assurance. We will be engaging further with the industry on the broader issue of the future of pension's term assurance over the coming weeks as part of the wider consultation.

Sources: Aegon Scottish Equitable, Pensions Advisory Service, HMT, HMRC.

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The Financial Services Authority do not regulate tax and trust planning. Levels and basis of relief are based on individual circumstances and are subject to change.

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