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It has recently been announced that divorce laws will be changing.
Before you think you are reading an old article, I am of course referring to the start of the new tax year. 
It seems a long time since we had an annual allowance (AA) of £255,000. These days most pension savers are restricted to £40,000, but the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) and the horribly complex tapered annual allowance (TAA) impose significant further restrictions for many. HMRC’s pension contribution statistics for 2016-17 tax year give us the first indication of the impact of the tapered annual allowance, and it’s not pretty.
It doesn't seem possible that it is 30 years since the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, stood to deliver his Budget on 14 March 1989. The immortal words ‘I propose to make it easier for people in personal pension schemes to manage their own investments’ led to what is now the self invested pensions (SIPP).
Automatic enrolment (AE) has, by and large, been a success story. Opt outs have been fewer than predicted and the 10 millionth employee has been auto-enrolled, according to figures recently released by The Pensions Regulator (TPR). It’s also been good to see TPR getting their teeth into a few unscrupulous employers that have flouted the rules to show they mean business.
We recently saw the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issue a policy statement in response to the consultation it carried out in June 2018 on retirement outcomes. As part of the consultation exercise, the FCA engaged with SIPP providers and the industry body AMPS, among others.
It’s the time of year when all good advisers will be talking to their clients about making the most of any unused allowances, and this will often include using the annual allowance (AA) for pension contributions. But are there times when the advice should actually be NOT to use it?

As the Chair of AMPS, I dread the day that the Financial Ombudsman Service complaints data is published.

As the last of the mince pies are eaten and the decorations all taken down, thoughts turn to what 2019 will bring for the SIPP market. While SIPPs received a lot of negative attention in 2018, advisers and their clients still see the benefits of investing in this tax efficient way.
2018 has been a quiet year in the world of pensions - no seismic changes or hacking of allowances makes for welcome relief.
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