Tax on an inherited private pension

Private pensions can be an efficient way to pass on wealth, but it is important to consider what, if any, tax will be payable on an inherited private pension. The person who died will usually have nominated the recipient by telling their pension provider that they should inherit any monies left in their pension pot. If the nominated person can’t be found or has since died, the pension provider may make payments to someone else instead.

In general, if you inherit a private pension and the owner of the pension fund died before the age of 75, the benefits left in a private pension can be paid as a lump sum or as drawdown income with no tax to pay. If the deceased passed away after the age of 75 the pension will be taxed at your marginal Income Tax rate, so 20% if you are a basic rate taxpayer or 40% if you are in the higher tax bracket and 45% if you pay tax at the top rate. The rates may differ if you are a Scottish taxpayer.

There are restrictions on pensions from a defined benefit pot (usually workplace pensions) whereby the pension can usually only be paid to a dependant of the person who died, for example a husband, wife, civil partner or child under 23. This rule can sometimes be changed if the pension fund allows, but the inheritance will be taxed at up to 55% as an unauthorised payment.

The rules on inheriting a pension are complex and depend on what type it is and how old the holder was when they died. For example, you may also have to pay tax if the pension pot owner was under 75 but had pension savings worth more than £1,073,100 (the lifetime allowance) when they died. There are also important time limits that must be followed.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 13 Jan 2021 00:00:00 +0100

Latest articles

CGT during divorce or separation

If you are part of a couple that is about to separate or divorce, apart from the emotional stress, there are also tax issues that can have significant implications. Whilst this is unlikely to be uppermost in your mind it is important that the tax

Taxpayers who return to the UK

There are tax implications that you will need to consider if you previously left the UK to live abroad and are now either returning to live and work in the UK or are considering such a move.

In most cases, if you have returned to live in the UK you

Corporation Tax – marginal relief from 1 April 2023

The Corporation Tax main rate will increase to 25% from 1 April 2023 for companies with profits over £250,000. A Small Profits Rate (SPR) of 19% will also be introduced from the same date for companies with profits of up to £50,000 ensuring these

Claiming Child Trust Fund cash

HMRC has published their latest statistics on Child Trust Funds which reveal that whilst 320,000 accounts have now matured, 175,000 funds that have matured remain unclaimed.

If you turned 18 on or after 1 September 2020 there may be cash waiting for