Harsh pension tax rules hit go-it-alone doctors

By Edie Bourne

Independent practitioners who fail to seek expert help are falling foul of harsh pension savings limits because the essential calculations are too confusing, according to specialist financial planners.

They warned this month that complex calculations are forcing some doctors to pay tens of thousands of pounds in tax charges.

The annual restriction on the amount you can contribute to your pension – the ‘tapered annual allowance’ – has been cut substantially in recent years. This drops the standard annual allowance of £40,000 to as low as £10,000 a year for high-earning doctors. 

Excess pensions savings above this allowance may trigger a tax bill. In 2016-17, the year that the ‘taper’ was introduced, the average tax bill for breaching the allowance was £29,635. with some individuals paying much more.