Unauthorised payments

Produced by Tolley

The following Personal Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Unauthorised payments
  • Unauthorised payment charge
  • Unauthorised payment surcharge
  • Amounts subsequently becoming liable to surcharge

Registered pension schemes are permitted by law to make certain payments to members, known as ‘authorised’ member payments.

Any payments to members other than those set out in the legislation are ‘unauthorised’.

Subject to conditions, the following payments are likely to be authorised payments:

  1. all forms of pensions, including lump sum and income withdrawals permitted under the pensions freedom rules introduced from 6 April 2015 (see FA 2004, Sch 28)

  2. pension commencement lump sums (a lump sum which a member becomes entitled to when a pension comes into payment)

  3. serious ill-health lump sums (a lump sum paid by commuting the whole of a member’s pension because of serious ill-health)

  4. short-service refund lump sums (a lump sum refunding a member’s contributions because the member has only a short period of service ― that is, less than two years for defined benefit schemes and 30 days for money purchase schemes)

  5. refund of excess contributions lump sums (lump sums refunding a member of contributions which did not receive tax relief)

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