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Protecting your benefits

See what you can do to protect your benefits from a Lifetime Allowance charge

Important note: The LTA tax charge has been abolished from 6 April 2023 and it is our current understanding that the government intends to remove the LTA completely from 2024. However the information below may still be of use as LTA protections are still an option until further notice. For additional help and support visit our guidance and financial advice page.

Two options to choose from

The Lifetime Allowance (LTA) dropped from £1.8m in 2011 to £1,073,100 in 2020/21 and has stayed at that level since. To stop you from being penalised by LTA reductions, HMRC lets you to apply for certain protections.

Current protections

There are two types of protection you can currently apply for:

  • Individual protection 2016
  • Fixed protection 2016

What happens if the LTA goes up?

If the standard Lifetime Allowance ever increases above your protected limit, it’ll apply to you automatically.

How to apply for protection

You can apply for both types of protection on the HMRC website. There’s no deadline for this.

When you apply, your IP2016 or FP2016 (and any other previous LTA protections) will show in your personal tax account.

You can apply for both protections at the same time. This could be useful if you want to stop building your pension savings and benefits but might start again if your circumstances change.

Previous protections

Before IP2016 and FP2016, there were other protections available – but you can’t apply for these any more. You can find out more about these in the pensions tax manual on the HMRC website. If you're not sure if you've got an earlier protection, you may want to check with your financial adviser.

Need some advice or guidance

If you want to seek guidance or take financial advice on the options available to you, visit the guidance and financial advice page. You’ll find a range of resources to support your planning and you can also find information on how to access an independent financial adviser.