Pension freedoms—the framework

The following Pensions practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pension freedoms—the framework
  • How were the pension freedoms implemented?
  • The legislative and regulatory framework identified
  • Legislative changes made on 6 April 2015
  • New tax framework
  • Provisions enabling schemes to take advantage of the pension freedoms
  • Provisions preventing abuse of the pension freedoms
  • Safeguards for members with no flexible benefits
  • Information about retirement options and pensions guidance
  • Reporting requirements
  • More...

Pension freedoms—the framework

On 6 April 2015, pension freedoms were introduced enabling individuals entitled to flexible benefits (effectively, money purchase benefits or cash balance benefits) to access their pension pot more freely from age 55, including by way of drawdown or by taking one or more cash sums known as uncrystallised funds pension lump sums (UFPLS). For further information, see Practice Note: Pension freedoms—an introduction.

How were the pension freedoms implemented?

The pension freedoms were implemented through the introduction of various legislative changes made:

  1. on 6 April 2015—these are the changes which give effect to the pension freedoms, as well as consequential changes to existing legislation to ensure that the pension freedoms framework is consistent with existing legislation

  2. after 6 April 2015—these are changes made to address any concerns and uncertainties identified following the introduction of the pension freedoms

  3. before 6 April 2015—these are the measures taken before the introduction of the pension freedoms to facilitate the creation of these freedoms and, where necessary, provide transitional measures

As the pension freedoms affect flexible benefits in both occupational pension schemes and personal pension schemes, the government also liaised with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure the FCA's regulatory framework (in the FCA Handbook) is consistent with the legislative framework. For further information, see Changes to FCA handbook to implement pension freedoms, below.

The legislative and regulatory framework identified

The key

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