Pensions Lifetime Allowance - A Summary Of The Protection Available


The standard lifetime allowance for pensions was reduced to £1.25 million on 6th April 2014 and £1 million on 6th April 2016. There are still three types of protection that you can apply for to protect yourself against these reductions, which are the following:

  • Individual Protection 2016
  • Fixed Protection 2016
  • Individual Protection 2014


Individual Protection 2016

You can apply for Individual Protection 2016  if your pension(s) were worth more than £1 million at 5 April 2016. You can still apply if you already have Enhanced Protection, Fixed Protection 2014 or Fixed Protection 2016. However you are unable to apply if you have either Primary Protection or Individual Protection 2014.

Individual Protection 2016 will only come into force if you lose or give up any previous protection you have applied for (you must inform HMRC in writing if this is to happen), otherwise it will stay dormant.

In order to apply for individual protection 2016 you will need the following:

  • an account for HMRC online services - you can set one up when you start your application
  • to know what your pension(s) were worth on 5 April 2016 and a breakdown of the amount

NHS Pensions can provide you with your NHS Pension valuation as at 5th April 2016. Other personal pension scheme administrators should provide you with previous pension valuations if required.


Fixed Protection 2016

You are able to apply for Fixed Protection 2016 if there have not been any contributions into your NHS Pension or any personal pensions since 5th April 2016 or you have opted out of the NHS Pension Scheme by the same date. You can also still apply if you already possess Individual Protection 2014, however you cannot apply if you have Enhanced Protection, Primary Protection or Fixed Protection 2014.

In order to apply for fixed protection 2016 you will need an account for HMRC online services - you can set one up when you start your application.


Individual Protection 2014

To apply for Individual Protection 2014 your pension value must have been over £1.25 million at 5th April 2014.

You must apply for Individual Protection 2014 before 5th April 2017, any applications submitted after this date will not be accepted.

You are still able to apply if you already have the following:

  • Enhanced Protection
  • Fixed Protection 2014
  • Fixed Protection 2016

However you are unable to apply if you have Primary Protection.

Individual Protection 2014 will become active when you lose or give up any previous protection that you have applied for. If this is to happen you will need to inform HMRC.

If you have Fixed Protection 2016, it will become dormant and Individual Protection 2014 will be opened.

In order to apply for Individual Protection 2014 you will need the following:

  • an account for HMRC online services - you can set one up when you start your application
  • to know what your pension(s) were worth on 5 April 2014 and a breakdown of the amount


If you have lost protection

If you have lost protection you will need to inform HMRC in writing of the following:

  • full name, address and national insurance number
  • the exact date that you lost protection
  • reason why you lost protection - benefit accrual, auto enrolment etc.
  • type of pension arrangement (defined contribution or defined benefit)
  • your original certificate (if you still have it - although these weren’t issued for IP2016/FP2016)


The rules around the Lifetime Allowance and protecting your pension pot have become increasingly complicated in recent years. If you would like pensions Lifetime Allowance Review then please do get in touch on or telephone the office on 0117 9665699 or through the website at for an initial meeting.






















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