Pensions Review 1997: PSO Updates 23 to 37

United Kingdom
PSO Updates


Update No 23

29 January 1997


  • Introduces a mailing list charge of £23.50 for PSO Updates and the Practice Notes, IR12.


Update No 24

29 January 1997


  • Amends PN 16.22 relating to the impact of retained benefits on the calculation of tax-free lump sums for certain members, and the calculation of retained benefits on leaving pensionable service or early retirement.

  • Amends PN13.33 regarding transfers of surplus in isolation.

  • Announces that the permitted maximum for the tax year 1997/98 is £84,000 and explains the impact for pension arrangements of the reduction in basic rate income tax to 23% with effect from 6 April 1997.

  • Announces the publication of the SSAS Guidance Notes.


Update No 25

24 March 1997


  • Announces that the maximum fixed rate percentage increase for pensions in payment which may be made without regard to increases in the retail prices index is to remain at 3% per annum compound, contrary to a previous announcement.

  • Introduces the facility to increase pensions in payment each year by the greater of 3% and the increase in the retail prices index for that year. Explains the bases for advance provision for pension increases where the above basis is impracticable.

  • Announces revised levels for maximum contributions and for pension increases under Simplified Defined Contributions Schemes.

  • Explains that the transfer of a death in service term life insurance policy to a SSAS will not now require prior PSO consent.


Update No 26

24 March 1997


  • Explains the tax treatment of backdated membership of an occupational pension scheme following the SIB review of transfers and opt outs and the retrospective admission of some part-time employees.


Update No 27

2 May 1997


  • Announces the tax approval practice to enable occupational pension schemes to comply with equal treatment requirements. The Update covers the benefits payable on retirement, normal retirement ages, contributions, actuarial factors and access for part-time employees.


Update No 28

29 August 1997


  • Encloses a new version of the Practice Notes, IR12 (1997). Explains changes and clarifies various items contained in the new edition. Lists those PSO Updates and PSO-related Joint Office Memoranda that remain extant.

  • Announces changes to certain standard forms and that a new edition of the Personal Pension Guidance Notes (IR76) and the guidance notes for Free-Standing Additional Voluntary Contribution Schemes (IR12 Supplement) are expected later in the year.


Update No 29

29 August 1997


  • Reminds subscribers that applications for tax approval should be in accordance with PN 18.5, particularly in respect of timescales.

  • Explains the actuarial reporting requirements for such an application in respect of a small self-administered scheme (SSAS).

  • Announces that scheme rules altered merely to reflect the provisions of the Pensions Act 1995 need not be submitted to the PSO.

  • Explains the requirements for the submission of actuarial valuation reports in respect of large self-administered schemes.

  • Announces a change in practice relating to the reporting requirements for property acquisitions made by SSASs.

  • Sets out the requirements for the reporting of chargeable events to the PSO by the administrator.


Update No 30

5 September 1997


  • Explains the implications of the self assessment tax regime for self-administered pension schemes effective from 6 April 1996.


Update No 31

5 September 1997


  • Introduces the requirement that all transfers from SSASs receive the prior written consent of the PSO.

  • Explains that the trustees of a SSAS must not enter into a subordinated loan agreement if it would prevent immediate repayment of the loan.


Update No 32

26 September 1997


  • Announces details of PSO inspection visits undertaken during the year to March 1997 in accordance with The Retirement Benefits Schemes (Information Powers) Regulations 1995. The Update sets out the main areas of concern found so far.

  • Sets out the system for imposing penalties for breaches under the above regulations.


Update No 33

26 September 1997


  • Gives examples of transactions generating rebated or shared insurance commission, the payment of which may prejudice approval.


Update No 34

26 September 1997


  • Announces that transfers may be made to a free standing additional voluntary contribution contract from a personal pension or retirement annuity contract following the passing of The Personal Pension Schemes (Transfer Payments) (Amendment) Regulations 1997.

  • Announces sundry changes relating to triviality, open ended investment companies (OEICs), evidence of earnings and income withdrawal in connection with personal pension schemes.


Update No 35

22 October 1997


  • Extends the deadline for completion of questionnaires to aid the issue of self assessment tax returns for self-administered pension schemes.


Update No 36

25 November 1997


  • Announces amendments to the Practice Notes, IR12 (1997), relating to the payment of employee contributions during temporary absence, split service and various minor amendments.

  • Issues revised reporting forms in relation to The Retirement Benefits Schemes (Information Powers) Regulations 1995.

  • Provides an Appendix listing the details required by the PSO to authorise a transfer payment from a SSAS.

  • Issues a disk version of the Practice Notes.


Update No 37

5 December 1997


  • Provides guidelines to practitioners in relation to the PSO's policy on responding to general and specific enquiries.