Contractor Pensions

If you are a contractor, setting up a pension is not only important for retirement planning but also to reduce net profits in a business.

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The value of pensions and the income they produce can fall as well as rise.

Here we outline the flexibility that pensions can offer for Limited company contractors and how you can make the most of your annual income and save efficiently for retirement.

Contractor pensions flexibility

As a contractor / consultant through your limited company, a personal pension, SIPP or SSAS can provide you with corporation tax savings. If you make annual lump sum contributions from your Limited company to your pension, you will offset corporation tax by reducing taxable company profits whilst saving for retirement:

  • The annual pension allowance stands at £40,000 (for the 2015/16 tax year), so you can invest up to this level each year and benefit from tax relief on your contributions at your highest marginal rate.
  • Contractors with a large sum to invest can take advantage of ‘carry forward’ rules for previous tax years and invest up to £180,000 during 2015/16 if need be.
  • Dividends are subject to corporation tax as they are paid ‘after corporation tax’.
  • Pension contributions are not subject to corporation tax as they are paid before corporation tax is applied.
  • Contractors can pass on assets 100% free from inheritance tax to children via a limited company, subject to qualifying criteria, by way of business property relief (BPR).

Act now and reap the benefits later

Most people are not saving sufficiently for their retirement and a large proportion of the workforce now expect to have to work beyond the statutory retirement age to make up for a shortfall in their pension income.

As a contractor / consultant, if you put the right plans in place at a relatively early age you are more likely to retire comfortably at an earlier age and enjoy the tax benefits of running a Limited company and having personal pension.

Perhaps the most important advice I give to my clients is to plan carefully and do not leave things to chance.

Related on the blog: The Pension Drawdown Arrangement

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Jaidev SinghContractor Pensions